Battle of the Dinosaur Bones

Battle of the Dino Bones

Twenty-First Century Books, 2013









In the late nineteenth century, the bitter rivalry between paleontologists Othniel Marsh and Edward Cope led to national notoriety, scientific schisms, some slipshod work, and, fortunately, to many landmark discoveries about dinosaurs and other forms of prehistoric life that provided concrete evidence for evolutionary change.



Junior Library Guild Selection



Booklist  This entry in the Scientific Rivalries and Scandals series focuses on the bitter antagonism between two pioneering nineteenth-century paleontologists, Marsh and Cope. Their contentious rivalry to discover the largest and most unusual dinosaur fossils of the American West became known as the Bone Wars and was at the forefront of American science for decades. The moral of the story is clear, revealing how rivalry can be positive and detrimental. Both Marsh and Cope made several important discoveries in the race to preeminence, but they also made critical classification errors in their haste. Packed with photos, maps, and diagrams, this orange-and-gray-heavy book emphasizes the importance of the scientific method on evaluating hypotheses and the misconceptions that arise with shoddy research. Dinosaurs are a topic of interest for many kids, and this well-researched book provides a rare glimpse into the historiography of biological science via a strongly narrative style.


School Library Journal, Series Made Simple  These books showcase major scientific developments and the brutal competition behind the scenes. They are highly engaging accounts of researchers resorting to cheap shots, spying, and double crossing to take credit for pivotal discoveries. But they are also disturbing documentation of how ego can trump the greater good… Written cleanly and fluidly, these titles let the drama and occasional absurdity of the players’ actions speak for themselves.  Read full review



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