Edward Drinker Cope (1840 - 1897)
Scan day: 09 February 2014 UTC
Description: Biographical information on this American paleontologist and evolutionist.
Announcement: Edward Drinker Cope was an American paleontologist and evolutionist. He was one of the founders of the Neo- school of evolutionary thought. This school believed that changes in developmental (embryonic) timing, not natural selection, was the driving force of evolution. In 1867, Cope suggested that most changes in species occured by coordinated additions to the ontogeny of all the individuals in a species. Speciation proceeded by the addition of stages to the end of embryonic sequences of development and by compression of earlier stages into the earlier parts of the developmental sequence. That is, a new developmental stage would be tacked onto the end of the developmental process, pushing the old end stage further back in development. Cope thought that groups of species that shared similar developmental patterns could be grouped into more inclusive groups (i.e. genera, families, and so on).
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