Today, March 18th, we at Everything Dinosaur commemorate the life of the American palaeontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. The eminent professor and president of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences passed away on this day in 1899.

Othniel Charles Marsh

Regarded as one of the great pioneers of American palaeontology he described more than a dozen new genera of dinosaurs, based on fossils excavated from the Western United States. He was responsible for naming and scientifically describing many of the most famous of all the Dinosauria. Brontosaurus, Apatosaurus, Triceratops and Stegosaurus were all named by Marsh.

Natural History Museum (London) - Sophie the Stegosaurus
A view of the anterior of “Sophie” the Stegosaurus stenops specimen on display at the London Natural History Museum. Othniel Charles Marsh named and described the first Stegosaurus species in 1877. Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Theropod Dinosaurs, Prehistoric Birds and Pterosaurs

Marsh also named and described the theropod dinosaur Allosaurus (1878), named and described toothed-birds, early horses and studied the first pterosaur fossils known from the USA.

For models and replicas of North American dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures: Wild Safari Prehistoric World Models and Figures.

For all his academic and scientific achievements, perhaps O. C. Marsh is best remembered for his bitter rivalry with his fellow American scientist Edward Drinker Cope. A rivalry that became known as the “Bone Wars”.

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