Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-1899)

Along with J. Leidy and E. Cope, one of America's three great 19th century vertebrate paleontologists. Bitter enemy of Cope. Nephew of George Peabody, who as a wealthy benefactor of Yale University supported Marsh's research. As head of the Yale Peabody Museum, Marsh had a large technical staff; several former employees became disgruntled over his appropriation of credit for their work. His evolutionary sequence of horses and his elaborately described, toothed Cretaceous bird specimens were used as pro-Darwinian rhetorical fodder by T. Huxley. Other key studies involved Mesozoic marine reptiles, uintatheres, Mesozoic mammals, and dinosaurs; as with Cope (but not Leidy), many of his oversplit specific names proved invalid.


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