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Today's featured article

Othniel Charles Marsh (left) and Edward Drinker Cope (right), whose rivalry sparked the Bone Wars
Othniel Charles Marsh (left) and Edward Drinker Cope (right)

The Bone Wars were rivalries between paleontologists, mainly Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh (pictured), that led to a surge of fossil discoveries during the Gilded Age of American history. Cope, of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, and Marsh, of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, competed using underhanded methods, resorting to bribery, theft, destruction of bones, and mutual attacks in scientific publications. They sought fossils in rich bone beds in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. From 1877 to 1892, they used their wealth and influence to finance their own expeditions and to procure services and dinosaur bones from fossil hunters. Cope and Marsh were financially and socially ruined by their attempts to disgrace each other, but their contributions to science and the field of paleontology, including many unopened boxes of fossils found after their deaths, were massive. Their efforts led to many new descriptions of dinosaur species, of which 32 remain valid today. The Bone Wars shed light on prehistoric life and sparked the public's interest in dinosaurs, leading to continued fossil excavation in North America in the decades to follow. (Full article...)

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Venus and Adonis
Venus and Adonis

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La Rambla, Barcelona, the site of a vehicle-ramming attack that killed at least 14 people, photographed in 2011
La Rambla, Barcelona, in 2011

This day in history

August 19

The Beatles in 1964
The Beatles in 1964

Samuel Richardson (b. 1689) · Tom Wills (b. 1835) · Paweł Jasienica (d. 1970)

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Today's featured media

The Biham–Middleton–Levine traffic model for a 144 x 89 lattice, with a traffic density of 28%. The model has self-organized to a free-flowing phase. The red cars and blue cars take turns to move; the red ones only move rightwards, and the blue ones move downwards. Every time, all the cars of the same colour try to move one step if there is no car in front. This video has been sped up such that only one in four frames is shown.

See the globally jammed phase

Film: Dllu

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