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In 1922 the Illustrated London Times ran this artist's interpretation of Hesperopithecus and his wife, all from the remains of that tooth! A few years later more evidence was found and the tooth was determined to be from an extinct pig! Little publicity was given to the error.
In this case you see some of the ingredients of the pre-man game. A discovery is made, a prominent scientist(s) interprets the data in the framework of current scientific thinking. The popular press bridges the gap between the scientist and the lay person, and in the process "fills in" a few details. The man on the street is presented with an image that will be retained; man arose from apes.