In 1868, Edward Draker Cope received a shipment of bones from Kansas that looked promising. It was probably something yet unidentified in America, and he wanted to be the first to publish it. Rushing to beat his rivals to the punch, Cope published this restoration of the elasmosaurus platyurus in the American Philosophical Society journal.
In this original restoration, Cope put the animal's skull on the right, giving it a short neck and a long tail.
Shortly after the reconstruction was published, Cope's rival, O.C. Marsh noticed that the skull had likely been placed on the wrong end of the skeleton. He contacted fellow paleontologist Joseph Leidy who confirmed the mistake.
Cope quickly published a corrected version of the drawing with the skull on the left, giving the creature a longer neck and shorter tail.
Cope tried to purchase all copies of American Philosophical Society that contained the incorrect version, but the damage to his reputation was done. And his rivalry with Marsh would only intensify.
The remarkable story of how a railroad was built connecting California to the East.
A biography of the last outlaws of the American Wild West
Before radar had been invented a devastating hurricane hit America, surprising residents of the East Coast and killing more than 600 people.
A year in the life of Wyoming cowboys and the ranching families of the American West.
This stunning film portrait of Yosemite National Park uses the 1851 diary of the first expedition of soldiers into the Native American territory.
High on a granite cliff in South Dakota's Black Hills tower the huge carved faces of four American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
The Chiricahua Apache medicine man and warrior who refused to accept white man's 'civilization.' Part of The Wild West collection.
The Klondike Gold Rush in Canada's Yukon Territory saw 100,000 people make the treacherous journey in search of riches.