Fossils Take Center Stage

The advancements in paleontology will continue at an escalating pace in America, particularly after the Civil War when manifest destiny kicks western migration into high gear. Great scientific surveys will begin in the West to ascertain what is out there. Joseph Leidy quietly emerges as the father of American paleontology. America’s first dinosaur is discovered in New Jersey and it, along with all the other scientific and industrial achievements of our young nation, are proudly displayed at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Two scientists, Professor Othniel Marsh of Yale and Professor Edward Cope from Philadelphia emerge during these times. They having amazing intellect and a desire to be first in making new discoveries of previously unknown animals. It is these discoveries that carry America from a scientific backwater to the center stage of paleontology.