Nebraska Man

The Nebraska Man saga began in 1921 with the discovery of a tooth in western Nebraska by a geologist named Harold Cook. The tooth eventually found its way into the hands of Dr. Henry Osborn,  head of the American Museum of Natural History. Osborn excitedly postulated that the tooth belonged to an early ape-man, and his claim was bolstered by the support of scientist Sir Grafton Elliot Smith of Great Britain, a Professor of Anatomy at Manchester.

An all too familiar scenario was about to unfold. Several scientists make an interpretation based on the current scientific paradigm, and then the media assumes its role of conveying the "science" to the general public in typical media fashion! So from a single tooth, Nebraska Man, aka Hesperopithecus haroldcookii, was created! The picture above is the actual artist rendering, based on input from Smith, that was published in the Illustrated London Daily News. But 5 years later, a discovery was made that shed a bit of light on the real Nebraska Man...


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