Tooth and Claw: The Dinosaur Wars of Cope and Marsh

160p. further reading. notes. websites. Viking. Apr. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780425289846.
RedReviewStarGr 7 Up—The conflict between two pioneering 19th-century scientists provides a framework for detailing the burgeoning scientific fields of evolutionary theory and paleontology in this accessible history for younger readers. Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh came to their professional scientific careers in the wake of the U.S. Civil War from very distinct backgrounds and achieved prominence through different means, but they began work as contemporaries and affable colleagues and ended as bitter enemies. Noyes details Marsh and Cope's individual accomplishments, their feud and its repercussions, contemporary developments in the scientific community that impacted their work, and the popular interest in science that supported their research and gave an audience to their dispute. The discovery of troves of pre-historic bones in the opening American West provided an apt landscape upon which Marsh and Cope could act out their resentments toward each other, use the media to shape the public's understanding of dinosaurs and science as a discipline, and outline the direction of paleontology for generations to come. Detailed sidebars and insets give the history and science behind Cope and Marsh's work and the ways that the pair have influenced paleontology and scientific inquiry today.
VERDICT An exciting retelling of the passionate rivalry between two researchers, and the dinosaurs that ignited their intellectual labors and fueled their conflict. Recommended for middle and high school nonfiction collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing