The Piltdown Chicken

This one was found in China in 1999. The fossil appeared to be that of some creature that was a combination of a bird and a dinosaur; it had the body of a bird and the tail of a small dinosaur. National Geographic went all-out to announce the great discovery. Unfortunately, it was a hoax. A farmer, wanting some extra money, had made up a composite from parts of two different fossils and sold it to a dealer. It became a scientific sensation until Dr. Xu Xing discovered the deception. Read the story in the Museum of Hoaxes.