THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
|SKETCH OF PROFESSOR O. C. MARSH.|
AMONG the younger workers in science in America, no name stands higher than that of Prof. O. C. Marsh. Enthusiastic, energetic, and capable of an unlimited amount of work, he has already contributed more than any one else to our knowledge of the ancient life of this continent. Many of his discoveries have proved of the greatest interest to the student of biology, and have a direct and highly-significant bearing on some of the most important scientific problems of the day. The genealogy of the horse, brought forward by Prof. Huxley in his New York lectures as the demonstrative evidence of evolution, was worked out mainly by Prof. Marsh, and was the result of his vigorous field-work and patient study.
Prof. Othniel Charles Marsh was born in Lockport, New York, October 29, 1831, and his boyhood was spent mainly in that vicinity. As a boy he was passionately fond of field-sports, and devoted much of his time to fishing and shooting. The writer has heard him remark that he was a sportsman before he was a naturalist; and it cannot be doubted that the open-air life of his early years gave him the vigorous health he has since enjoyed, while to the habits of observation acquired in the woods and fields much of his subsequent success in science has been due. He is still a keen sportsman, and very hard to beat with rod or gun. In 1852 he entered Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1856, the valedictorian of his class. He entered Yale College the same year, and graduated with high honors in the class of 1860. The next two years were spent in the study of chemistry and mineralogy in the Sheffield Scientific School at New Haven. He then went to Europe, and spent three years in the Universities of Berlin, Heidelberg, and Breslau. While in Germany he studied zoölogy and geology under the eminent teachers Ehrenberg, Rose, Bunsen, Peters, Beyrich, and Roemer. His vacations were devoted to Alpine explorations and other work in the field, during which he made several discoveries of interest, and published accounts of them in papers read before the Geological Society of Germany. He returned to New Haven in 1866, to fill the chair of Paleontology in Yale College, a position which he now holds.
During his school-days at Andover, and throughout his college course, Prof. Marsh was a devoted student of mineralogy, and many of his vacations were spent in Nova Scotia, collecting minerals and investigating the geology of that peninsula. It was here that he discovered, while yet in college, the two celebrated vertebrae of Eosaurus Acadianus, which still remain unique, and are thought to have been