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American Experience; Dinosaur Wars


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American Experience
Dinosaur Wars
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

In the summer of 1868, paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh boarded a Union Pacific train for a sight-seeing excursion through the heart of the newly-opened American West. While most passengers simply saw magnificent landscapes, Marsh soon realized he was traveling through the greatest dinosaur burial ground of all time. Ruthless, jealous and insanely competitive Marsh would wrestle over the discovery with the other leading paleontologist of his generation -- Edward Drinker Cope. Over time, the two rivals would uncover the remains of dozens of prehistoric animals, including 130 species of dinosaur, collect thousands of specimens, provide ample evidence to prove Charles Darwin's hotly disputed theory of evolution and put American science on the world stage. But their professional rivalry eventually spiraled out of control. What began with denigrating comments in scientific publications, led to espionage, the destruction of fossils and political maneuvering that ultimately left both men alone and almost penniless.

A MDTV Productions film for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE (c) 2011



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Dinosaur Wars,” 12/09/2010, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 25, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3A26FB6F2FF34A798FAC016FC45AD2E4.
MLA: “American Experience; Dinosaur Wars.” 12/09/2010. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 25, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3A26FB6F2FF34A798FAC016FC45AD2E4>.
APA: American Experience; Dinosaur Wars. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_3A26FB6F2FF34A798FAC016FC45AD2E4
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