In 1922 America proclaimed its own Dawn of Man, when a single fossilized tooth was found in Nebraska. This single molar tooth became the "Nebraska Man" (Hesperopithecus). An artist was told to make an "ape-man" picture based on this tooth, which went around the world. From a single tooth was drawn a whole family. The painting had a naked ape-man, sporting his club, flanked by his naked wife gathering roots for supper. Behind them were a herd of camels and a herd of horses, whose fossils had been found in the same deposit, but were extinct in that location long ago.
Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn, head of the prestigious American Museum of Natural History in New York City, declared Nebraska man to be man's early ancestor. Illustrated London News, June 24,1922 had a two page spread on Nebraska Man. The imaginative newspaper coverage and the timing of the find made a big impression at the 1925 Scopes trial, in Dayton, Tennessee. Nebraska man was never introduced into the trial, since the lead paleoanthropologist, Dr. Fay Cooper Cole, had some misgivings about it, but it was there nonetheless.
In 1928 paleontologists returned to the site where they found the single molar tooth. At the dig they discovered a fossilized skeleton which the tooth belong to. To there dismay, it was skeleton of an extinct pig. In 1972, living specimens of this pig were found in Paraguay. Nebraska Man never really existed at all. How imaginative scientific experts can be at times. Give them a tooth, not necessarily human, and they can create an entire prehistoric man.
For more information on Nebraska Man go to http://www.wikipedia.com.