In 1877, railroad foreman William Harlow Reed is hunting game to feed his work crew, when he stumbles upon a strange fossil. In short order, his discovery attracts the attention of two scientists who race to the windblown bluffs of Wyoming in search of more dinosaur bones. In what would soon be referred to as the Great Dinosaur Rush, paleontologists E. D. Cope and O. C. Marsh stop at nothing to lay claim to new dinosaur skeletons, and the bitter feud spirals out of control. Reed is caught in the crossfire as the two paleontologists arm their camps and resort to bribery, theft, and even the destructions of bones. Some years later, gunfighter-turned-reporter Bat Masterson tracks down Reed to uncover the real story of the Bone War, which led to unprecedented scientific discoveries in the West as well as the destruction of careers and reputations.