Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody had skills. A lot of them. He was a trapper, bullwhacker, Pony Express Rider, Colorado “Fifty-Niner” wagon master, stagecoach driver, Civil War soldier, hotel manager and scout for the U.S. Army. He was a skilled hunter, a long-before-his-time showman, a diplomat, a newspaperman, a logistics magician and a civic-minded community leader with a special focus on the rights of children, women and minorities.
And in his spare time, he searched for – and found – dinosaurs. Well, fossils, anyway. In 1870, 24-year-old Buffalo Bill Cody led an ultra-competitive fossil-hunter named Othniel Charles Marsh into the wilds of western Kansas to search for dinosaur fossils. Marsh, a Yale professor, had already discovered dinosaur bone pits in Wyoming and Colorado, as had Marsh’s arch enemy, a British fossil-hunter named Edward Drinker Cope.
Both brilliant and prolific fossil hunters, Cope and Marsh had each been credited with numerous discoveries, and each frantically wrote and published scientific papers to ensure that credit was well documented. Though the two started out as friendly competitors, their relationship quickly became one characterized by petty vandalism, lies and theft and occasionally, violence.
Most scholars believe the Bone Read More