Battle for the “Bone Wars” Beasts

A few years back, shortly after he introduced me to a splendid fossil alligator, Peabody Museum of Natural History collections manager Christopher Norris led me into a bright room piled high with fossils. I'd seen similar rooms before. As per usual, the larger specimens were cradled in carefully-crafted plaster jackets on shelves while the smaller bones were safely locked in metal cabinets bearing scientific incantations such as "merycoidodontoidea" and "borhyaenidae". But a series of lumpy skulls arranged along the left wall were what immediately grabbed my attention. These were the great dinoceratans that O.C. Marsh fought so fiercely to defend from ...

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