Poem on fossil amphibian

There are not only songs on amphibians living today; there is also at least one poem about an amphibian which became extinct about 295 million years ago.

Poem on amphibian Eryops

From Discover Magazine:

Newly Unearthed Papers From Fossil Hunters Include An Ode to Bones

This poem in praise of the Permian amphibian Eryops was scrawled on the back of a label now in the American Museum of Natural History by Jacob Boll, a Swiss-German fossil hunter involved in a tumultuous 19th-century paleontology feud.

Graduate students and post-docs do a lot of important work in science these days, in the names of their more eminent supervisors, and there was a similar set-up in the early days of American paleontology. Many of the fossils named by and attributed to E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh, archenemies and the era’s most prominent paleontologists, were collected in the field by hired hunters like Boll and his contemporary Robert T. Hill, who both worked for Cope.

Paleontologists sifting through papers in the library of Southern Methodist University recently came across letters between Hill and Cope and, while examining specimens at AMNH, happened on Boll’s little poem.

Here is a translation:

“Now you will with some few others
Trek to the professor’s seat.
Awakened through his careful thought,
Be reassembled from your fragments,
To tell to others yet to come
From the sculpting of your teeth
How you lived and disappeared,
Name you he will, and what he found.”

Watch this video about the Bone Wars, as Cope and Marsh’s feud was known, to hear the poem read aloud and learn more details about the trove of papers:

3 thoughts on “Poem on fossil amphibian

  1. Pingback: Earliest amphibian moved like a seal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Beelzebufo, big dinosaur age Madagascar frog | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Prehistoric amphibians, four or five fingers? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.