Learning More About Dinosaurs

Digging Up Fossils

Who first developed a method to protect excavated dinosaur bones?

Not only did a plethora of dinosaur bones result from the rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope (1840–1897) and Othniel Charles Marsh (1831–1899), but new methods to protect the precious excavated dinosaur bones were also developed, as well. For example, Cope’s crew preserved fossils using jackets of burlap bags dipped in a paste of overcooked rice. This pasty rice mix was slathered over the burlap covering the bone; as it dried, it hardened enough to allow the bones to be safely shipped back to the eagerly awaiting scientists.


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