Deception And Thunder
A rather plain envelope cancelled Central City, Nebraska, January 1, 1879 contained a letter from cowboy William Harlow Reed addressed to a college professor Othniel Charles Marsh at Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut. Reed was informing Marsh he will return to Como Bluff, Wyoming and continue to dig for fossils. The previous year was disappointing, yielding mostly few broken fossil bones, the following years would uncover many iconic dinosaurs (e.g.: Allosaurus, Stegosaurus). In a few months W.H.Reed would dig up gigantic bones that O.C.Marsh would describe as an animal so ponderous it would shake the earth as it walked! He named it the Thunder Lizard - Brontosaurus. Marsh named more than 80 dinosaurs, but because of duplicates (like Apatosaurus-Brontosaurus) he ended up with about 33. But! 2 years before a juvenile sauropod was dug up by M.P.Felch (another employee of Marsh) near Central City, Colorado whose tail bones resembled the Jurassic ocean sea monster Mosasaurus and Marsh named it the deceptive lizard - Apatosaurus. Due to priority in nomenclature rules Brontosaurus is officially called Apatosaurus.