Not real. (Image: Smithsonian Institution Archives/SIA2012-6095)
Pranks are meant to be discovered—what’s the point in fooling someone if they never notice they’ve been fooled? But one 19th century prank, sprung by John James Audubon on another naturalist, was so extensive and so well executed that its full scope is only now coming to light.
The prank began when the French naturalist Constantine Rafinesque sought on Audubon…
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