Cope, Edward Drinker, 1840–97, American paleontologist and comparative anatomist, b. Philadelphia, studied at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and at the Smithsonian Institution. His large collection of fossil mammals is now at the American Museum of Natural History. His rivalry with O. C. Marsh over acquiring and identifying fossil remains was bitter, at times unscrupulous, and ultimately notorious. His many published works include The Vertebrata of the Tertiary Formations of the West (1883), a report on the F. V. Hayden survey in which he served as geologist and paleontologist. Cope believed that evolution arose from an organism's inner urge to attain a higher state of being.
See studies by U. Lanham (1973), D. R. Wallace (1999), and M. Jaffe (2000)
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