Othniel Charles Marsh
Othniel Charles Marsh - Brady-Handy
Vital statistics
Name Othniel Charles Marsh
Gender Male
Born October 29, 1831(1831-10-29)

Lockport, New York, USA

Died March 18, 1899 (aged 67)

New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Nationality United States

Othniel Charles Marsh (October 29, 1831 – March 18, 1899) was one of the pre-eminent paleontologists of the 19th century, who discovered and named many fossils found in the American West.


Early LifeEdit

Marsh was born in Lockport, New York, in the United States. He graduated Yale College in 1860, and studied geology and mineralogy in the Sheffield Scientific School, New Haven, and afterwards paleontology and anatomy in Berlin, Heidelberg and Breslau. He returned to the United States in 1866 and was appointed professor of vertebrate paleontology at Yale University. He persuaded his uncle, George Peabody, to establish the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale.


In May 1871 Marsh uncovered the first pterosaur fossils found in America. He also found early horses, flying reptiles, the Cretaceous and Jurassic dinosaurs; Apatosaurus and Allosaurus, and described the toothed birds of the Cretaceous; Ichthyornis and Hesperornis.

Marsh is also known for the so-called Bone Wars waged against Edward Drinker Cope. The two men were fiercely competitive, discovering and documenting more than 120 new species of dinosaur between them.

Marsh died in 1899 and was interred at the Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut.


  • The Scientific Contributions of Othniel Charles Marsh: Birds, Bones, and Brontotheres (Peabody Museum of Natural History Special Publication No 15) (Paperback) by Mark J. McCarren

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