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Boy, 10, spots Natural History Museum dinosaur error

27th July 2017
Posted by BBC Essex News

Boy, 10, spots Natural History Museum dinosaur error

Oviraptor and museum signImage copyright
Natural History Museum/Edwards Family

Image caption

An artist's impression of an oviraptor (l) and not an oviraptor (r)

The Natural History Museum has admitted one of its dinosaurs was incorrectly labelled, after the error was pointed out by a 10-year-old visitor.

Dinosaur fan Charlie, 10, from Essex noticed an incorrect picture on a sign about oviraptors.

Although his parents doubted the museum had made a mistake, Charlie insisted the picture showed a different species.

The museum said it was impressed with Charlie's knowledge and confirmed he was right and it will correct the sign.

Charlie's parents had taken him and his brother to stay overnight at the London museum on 21 July.

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Image copyright
Science Photo Library

While other children were on a dinosaur hunt, Charlie, from Canvey Island, preferred "reading the signs about them", which is when he noticed something was not quite right.

A silhouette image of an apparent oviraptor – a dinosaur with a beak that walked on its hind legs – was instead a four-legged protoceratops.

Image copyright
Edwards family

Image caption

The museum had mistakenly put a picture of a a protoceratops on the oviraptor sign, it admitted

Charlie knows his dinosaurs, his mother Jade said.

"He's loved palaeontology since he was very young and started reading encyclopaedias when he was about three.

"Charlie has Asperger syndrome and as part of that, when he likes a subject he will try and find out everything about it."

Charlie explained: "I found a side-by-side comparison to the dinosaur, and I saw it said oviraptor, but then the shape of the dinosaur was wrong and we told a member of staff."

Image copyright
Edwards family

Image caption

Charlie (right) and brother Ronnie were at a "sleepover" at the museum

"When he told us, we said, 'OK, we know you're good, but this is the Natural History Museum," his mother said.

"It turned out Charlie was right."

A museum staff member has since contacted Charlie's father to say: "I've been able to get hold of our main dinosaur expert and he's been able to confirm your son is correct. The labels do not show a correct silhouette for oviraptor."

A spokesman said the dinosaur gallery had been "refurbished several times" and "an error has been made".

The museum was "very impressed with Charlie's knowledge," he added, and the sign will be corrected.

Image copyright
Edwards family

Original Article