Supposed fossil PRIMATE of North America.
Scientific name: Hesperopithecus haroldcookii, given by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1922.
Significant sighting: In 1917, rancher and geologist Harold Cook discovered a fossil tooth, apparently an upper molar, in Miocene deposits near Agate, Nebraska. He submitted it in March 1922 to Henry Fairfield Osborn, a distinguished paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History, who announced it as the first anthropoid ape fossil discovered in the Americas.
Present status: In 1927, after a few other scientists had tentatively accepted it, the tooth was properly identified as belonging to a fossil peccary (Prosthennops crassigenus).
Sources: Henry Fairfield Osborn, "Hesperopithecus, the First Anthropoid Primate Found in America," American Museum Novitiates 37 (1922): 1-5; William K. Gregory, "Hesperopithecus Apparently Not an Ape nor a Man," Science 66 (1927): 579-581; John Wolf and James S. Mellett, "The Role of 'Nebraska Man' in the Creation/Evolution Debate," Creation/Evolution 16 (1985): 31-43, on line at http://www.execpc.com/~jwolf/ hesper2.txt.
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