Cope, Edward Drinker
COPE, EDWARD DRINKER (1840-1897), American palaeontologist, descended from a Wiltshire family who emigrated about 1687, was born in Philadelphia on the 28th of July 1840. At an early age he became interested in natural history, and in 1859 communicated a paper on the Salamandridae to the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia. He was educated partly in the University of Pennsylvania, and after further study and travel in Europe was in 1865 appointed curator to the Academy of Natural Sciences, a post which he held till 1873. In 1864-67 he was professor of natural science in Haverford College, and in 1889 he was appointed professor of geology and palaeontology in the University of Pennsylvania. To the study of the American fossil vertebrata he gave his special attention. From 1871 to 1877 he carried on explorations in the Cretaceous strata of Kansas, the Tertiary of Wyoming and Colorado; and in course of time he made known at least 600 species and many genera of extinct vertebrata new to science. Among these were some of the oldest known mammalia, obtained in New Mexico. He served on the U.S. Geological Survey in 1874 in New Mexico, in 1875 in Montana, and in 1877 in Oregon and Texas. He was also one of the editors of the American Naturalist. He died in Philadelphia on the 12th of April 1897.
Publications. - Reports for U.S. Geological Survey on Eocene Vertebrata of Wyoming (1872); on Vertebrata of Cretaceous Formations of the West (1875); Vertebrata of the Tertiary Formations of the West (1884); The Origin of the Fittest: Essays on Evolution (New York, 1887); The Primary Factors of Organic Evolution (Chicago, 1896). Memoir by Miss Helen D. King, American Geologist, Jan. 1899 (with portrait and bibliography); also memoir by P. Frazer, American Geologist, Aug. 1900 (with portrait).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)