10-year-old boy spots an error at the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur exhibit

Flickr | Jordi Payà Canals

Charlie Edwards is 10 now, but he’s wanted to be a paleontologist since he was just 3 years old. Recently, his nearly lifelong dinosaur obsession paid off in a big way.

Charlie was attending the “Dino Snores for Kids” sleepover at the Natural History Museum in London when he noticed a sign illustrating the size difference between a human and an Oviraptor. But Charlie noticed a problem: The dinosaur shown on the sign was not an Oviraptor.

“Charlie said, ‘that’s wrong’ and I said ‘what do you mean?'” Charlie’s mom, Jade, told The Telegraph. “He said ‘this part here is not right, that’s not an Oviraptor.’ I said to him, ‘This is the Natural History Museum. I know you’re really good with your dinosaur information but I’m not sure if you’re right.'”

Jade said that, despite her reassurances, Charlie was adamant that the museum had made an error, repeating, “I’m telling you, I’m right.”

So when the family got home from the sleepover, Charlie’s parents sent a quick email to the museum asking if Charlie was indeed correct. To their surprise, the museum replied with a letter informing them that Charlie was right, thanking him for his diligence, and assuring him they would make the necessary changes to the sign to reflect the correct information.

To Charlie, the confirmation came as no surprise. “I saw the side-by-side comparison to a human and…the name was not right,” Charlie said. “The name they had was Oviraptor but the dinosaur silhouette showed what was most likely a Protoceratops. I knew from reading my books it was not right so I told my mum and dad.”

Here are the two dinosaurs for comparison. The Oviraptor…


…and the Protoceratops:


A spokesperson for the museum released the following statement in light of Charlie’s discovery:

“The Museum was recently made aware of a mistake in one of our dinosaur galleries. This has now been raised with our exhibitions team, and we will change this as soon as possible. Scientific research and our understanding of the natural world are constantly changing and the Dinosaurs gallery has been refurbished several times to reflect this. Unfortunately, in the process an error has been made. We are very impressed with Charlie’s knowledge and hope his passion for paleontology continues.”

Stay tuned for Charlie’s next groundbreaking discoveries, which are sure to make more headlines over the years.

Science & Nature
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