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Archaeoraptor was a forged fossil originally hailed as the missing link between dinosaurs and birds. It was created by a Chinese farmer who sought to make extra money by recovering and selling fossils. The farmer glued several fossils together, either out of the belief that they belonged together or a desire to make a more pleasing subject for display. The composite fossil was purchased by a United States museum then made its way to National Geographic in 1999. Despite various concerns being raised with the fossil and two peer-reviewed journals declining to publish a scientific paper about it, miscommunication and editorial oversight allowed National Geographic to proceed with publishing an article about the fossil. Eventually, the forged nature of the fossil was made public, and National Geographic retracted their claims.[1]


  1. Simons, Louis M. "Archaeoraptor Fossil Trail." National Geographic, October 2000, Accessed April 18, 2007.