Elasmosauras illustration by Edward Cope, from "The Fossil Reptiles of New Jersey," The American Naturalist, 1870.
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Credit: Illustration from Cope, E. D., 1870. The fossil reptiles of New Jersey. The American Naturalist, 3:84-91. Plate 2.

When he first reconstructed the Elasmosauras, seen in the foreground of this illustration, Edward Cope put the head on the end of the short tail of its skeleton rather than on the end of its long neck. After Joseph Leidy reported his mistake, Cope issued a circular requesting that the preprints of the drawing he had sent out be returned at his expense. He changed his original 'backwards' description of Elasmosaurus. The revised version was published in the late Spring of 1870.

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