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Reviewed by:
  • Tooth & Claw: The Dinosaur Wars by Deborah Noyes
  • Elizabeth Bush
Noyes, Deborah Tooth & Claw: The Dinosaur Wars. Viking,
2019 [160p] illus. with photographs
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-425-28984-6 $18.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-425-28986-0 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 6-9

The world had just begun to grapple with the revision in the animal kingdom's timeline in the nineteenth century when dino fever infected the U.S. and Europe, drawing gawkers to museum reconstructions of the heretofore unimaginable behemoths (extrapolated from scanty evidence) and sending explorers on excavations for more, more, more bones. Perhaps the most notorious science-gone-crazy episode to emerge is the famous feud between well-connected and -funded Yale professor Othniel Charles Marsh and mercurial academic climber Edward Drinker Cope. Their first meeting in Berlin—two Americans with a common interest—boded friendship, but that was not to be. Although there's plenty of blame to go around in this tale, Noyes shifts the bulk of blame onto Marsh, who used his influence at every turn to steal Cope's hunting grounds and connections, to humiliate him in public and even score a job with the U.S. Geological Survey that would allow him to cut off Cope's expedition funding. This wouldn't be a true feud without pushback, though, and when Cope came into money of his own, he gave as good as he got, even buying a scientific journal to publish his own research and claim first naming rights to synchronous finds. Kids who read their way through the dino shelves will welcome this seriocomic romp through the wild and woolly early days of paleontology and particularly revel in the myriad ways acclaimed scholars got things wrong through their own haste and, well, bone-headedness. Plenty of photographs accompany the wryly humorous narrative, and a timeline, notes, bibliography, and index will appear in the bound book. EB [End Page 356]



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