Edward Drinker Cope (July 28, 1840 - April 12, 1897) was an American paleontologist and comparative anatomist, as well as a noted herpetologist and ichthyologist. He was born in Philadelphia, USA. He is remembered more as a paleontologist and herpetologist than an ichthyologist. He nevertheless described over 300 species of fishes between 1862 and 1894.
Cope was a founder of the Neo-Lamarckism school of thought. Born to a wealthy Quaker family, Cope distinguished himself as a child prodigy interested in science; he published his first scientific paper at the age of nineteen. Cope had little formal scientific training, and he eschewed a teaching position for field work. He made regular trips to the American West prospecting in the 1870s and 1880s, often as a member of United States Geological Survey teams.