Missouri Leviathan

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Jun 17 2024 • 39 mins

The Missouri Leviathan was an enormous skeleton made of fossilized bones that were excavated and assembled by Albert C. Koch. Was it a hoax, or just bad science?

Research:

  • Lotzof, Kerry. “Missouri Leviathan: the making of an American mastodon.” Natural History Museum (London). https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/the-making-of-an-american-mastodon.html
  • Wanko, Andrew. “Great River City: The Missouri Leviathan.” Missouri Historical Society. 12/12/2019. https://mohistory.org/blog/great-river-city-the-missouri-leviathan
  • Missouri State Parks. “At Mastodon State Historic Site.” https://mostateparks.com/page/54983/historic-site-history
  • Phillips, Nicholas. “This odd creature from Missouri once gained international fame.” St. Louis Magazine. 5/8/2020. https://www.stlmag.com/culture/missouri-leviathan-albert-koch-mastodon-kimmswick/
  • Ashworth, William. “Scientist of the Day: Albert C. Koch.” Linda Hall Library. 5/10/2022. https://www.lindahall.org/about/news/scientist-of-the-day/albert-c-koch/
  • Mackenthun, Gesa. “Albert Koch.” Universitat Rostock. 3/4/2016. https://www.iaa.uni-rostock.de/forschung/laufende-forschungsprojekte/american-antiquities-prof-mackenthun/project/agents/albert-c-koch/
  • Buckley, S.B. “On the Zeuglodon Remains of Alabama.” American Journal of Science and Arts, Band 52.
  • Dana, James D. “On Dr. Koch's Evidence with Regard to the Cotemporaneity of Man and the Mastodon in Missouri.” American Journal of Science and the Arts, Vol. IX, May 1875.
  • Hoy, P.R. “Dr. Koch’s Missorium.” The American Naturalist Volume 5, Issue 3. May, 1871. https://doi.org/10.1086/270728
  • Krause, Stefan. “From Prehistory to Deep History: The Coloniality of Counting Time.” Universitat Rostock.
  • Proceedings of the Geological Society of London. Vol. 3, Part 2. No. 87. 1842.
  • Hensley, John R. “Transactions of the Academy of Science of St. Louis.” Vol. 33, No. 1.
  • McMillan, R. Bruce. “Objects of Curiosity: Albert Koch’s `1840 St. Louis Museum.” The Living Museum vol. 42, no. 02,03; 1980. Via Illinois Digital Archives.
  • McMillan, R. Bruce. “More than a Fossil Hunter: The Life and Pursuits of Charles W. Beehler.” The Confluence. Spring/Summer 2013.
  • Hazen, Robert M. "Phenomena, comment and notes." Smithsonian, vol. 22, no. 7, Oct. 1991, pp. 28+. Gale In Context: U.S. History, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A11373982/GPS?u=mlin_n_melpub&sid=bookmark-GPS&xid=99bffd4a. Accessed 22 May 2024.
  • Bruce Mcmillan, R. "ALBERT C. KOCH'S MISSOURIUM AND THE DEBATE OVER THE CONTEMPORANEITY OF HUMANS AND THE PLEISTOCENE MEGAFAUNA OF NORTH AMERICA." Earth Sciences History, vol. 41, no. 2, July 2022, pp. 410+. Gale In Context: Science, dx.doi.org/10.17704/1944-6187-41.2.410. Accessed 22 May 2024.
  • Mcmillan, R. Bruce. "ALBERT KOCH'S HYDRARCHOS: A HOAX OR A BONA FIDE COLLECTION OF BONES." Earth Sciences History, vol. 42, no. 1, Jan. 2023, pp. 84+. Gale In Context: Science, dx.doi.org/10.17704/1944-6187-42.1.84. Accessed 22 May 2024.
  • Rieppel, Lukas. “Albert Koch’s Hydrarchos Craze: Credibility, Identity, and Authenticity in Nineteenth-Century Natural History.” From: Science Museums in Transition: Cultures of Display in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America. 1 ed. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017. muse.jhu.edu/book/52515
  • Koch, Albert C. “Description of Missourium, or Missouri leviathan : together with its supposed habits and Indian traditions concerning the location from whence it was exhumed; also, comparisons of the whale, crocodile and missourium with the leviathan, as described in 41st chapter of the book of Job.” Louisville, Ky. : Prentice and Weissinger. 1841.
  • “The Missourium.” The Farmers' Cabinet and American Herd-Book : Devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture, and Rural and Domestic Affairs 1841-12-15: Vol 6 Iss 5.
  • Veit, Richard. "Mastodons, Mound Builders, and Montroville Wilson Dickeson–Pioneering American Archaeologist." Expedition Magazine 41, no. 3 (November, 1999): -. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/mastodons-mound-builders-and-montroville-wilson-dickeson-pioneering-american-archaeologist/

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