The Bone Wars - also known as the Great Dinosaur Rush - was a period of rivalry between two wealthy scientists. Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh had started out as friends, both sharing a love for science and paleontology. Unfortunately, their relationship turned sour when Marsh pointed out one of Cope's errors.
In 1869, Cope hurried to publish a new species of plesiosaur that had been shipped to his office from Kansas. He dubbed the new creature Elasmosaurus platyurus, but in constructing his new specimen, he made the mistake of placing the dinosaur's head on the end of its tail. While visiting Cope, Marsh pointed out this error, resulting in a sharp exchange of words. They decided to have Joseph Leidy verify the accusation, which turned out to be true. After the whole ordeal, Marsh commented that Cope had been his bitter enemy since that day.
As the two dove deeper into excavating and discovering new specimens, the rivalry only grew. Yet even though their race against each other to discover and name new species brought many specimens to light, Cope and Marsh drove themselves to the extremes; Cope rushed to publish works that were filled with careless errors, and Marsh bullied and bribed his way through in his pursuit of new specimens.
While the feud between Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh consumed the scientist's lives, the quality and multitude of bones they discovered and collected became the foundation American paleontology.
The new Bone Wars Geocoin has a 3-D front in black nickel, with a polished nickel velociraptor breaking free of the coin! On the back of the coin features the skeleton of a tyrannosaurus rex, the king of dinosaurs, in glow-in-the-dark enamel. Underneath him lies many scattered bones and skeletons of other dinosaurs under two different color translucents, one color for Marsh, and one for Cope. The tracking number can be found on a strand of vertebrae.