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Edward Drinker Cope
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Scientist
    (July 28, 1840-April 12, 1897)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Paleontologist and zoologist
    Discovered and named over 1,000 extinct vertebrate species
    He wrote that 'the inferior Negro should go back to Africa.'
    He suffered a nervous breakdown from overwork (1872).
    He prescribed himself morphine and belladonna for his illnesses.
    He had a long-running feud with fellow paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, known as 'the Bone Wars.'
    The rush to beat Marsh to print sometimes resulted in sloppy work.
    In his most famous error, in reconstructing the pleisaur Elasmosaurus, he placed the skull at the end of the tail instead of the neck. He then tried to hide the mistake by buying up all copies of the journal his article appeared in.
    In a final challenge to Marsh, he donated his brain to science, hoping his would be larger than his rival's.
    He published his first scientific paper at age 19.
    Zoologist Henry Fowler said he was 'always impressive with his great energy and activity.'
    'Copeia,' a leading journal of American hepetology and ichthyology (studies of reptiles and fishes, respectively), was named for him.
    His and Marsh's discoveries fueled a massive increase of public interest in dinosaurs.
    His personal collection of 13,000 fossils became the nucleus of the American Museum of Natural History's fossil hall.
    Marsh never did donate his brain, so Cope presumably won his last challenge by default.

Credit: C. Fishel


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