Two of America's most prominent paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh had a falling out. Both would send teams into the fossil fields of the West where they would fight over digging rights amid claims that the other side had destroyed or damaged fossils in order to block rivals from getting a hold of them. I wonder how many fossil dinosaur specimens they destroyed that could of been put on display.
One outgrowth of the "bone wars" was unscientific competition between Cope and Marsh to see who could discover the most species of extinct beasts. In their rush to beat each other to the next find, the scientists often based their claims on incomplete or inaccurate data. This is were the Brontosaurus comes into play.
The scientific community now knows that Brontosaurus never existed. The confusion came about in 1879 when Othniel Marsh gave the name Brontosaurus to an almost complete skeleton found at Como Bluff, Wyoming, which was missing a skull. In reconstructing the skeleton of this Brontosaurus, Marsh mistakenly gave a square-shaped Camarasaurus type skull found in a nearby quarry. What an imagination! Today, the skeleton's head has been replaced with a longer, narrower type skull, that it should of had originally. The dinosaur's reconstruction has a new name : Apatosaurus.
Poor Brontosaurus was a figment of Marsh's imagination. He thought he had discovered a new dinosaur. But by putting the wrong skull on the dinosaur fossil skeleton, he made a blunder and deceived many into believing Brontosaurus was real. Thousands of children knew this dinosaur by name. It even appeared as the symbol of a major oil company (Sinclair Oil) and a full-sized model made its appearance at the oil company's exhibit at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. Also in 1989 the U. S. Postal Service decided to release a stamp that was labeled Brontosaurus.
Poor Brontosaurus, a dinosaur that Marsh wished that existed, but became a casualty of the bone wars. Marsh's imagination got the better of his conscience.The Bible says the imagination of man is deceitful and can only be cleansed by the power of God through His word (2 Corinthians 10 : 4-5).
For more information on Apatosaurus go to http://www.wikipedia.org.