Dinosaur named for Harry Potter

‘Hogwarts’ Dragon Unveiled

A dragon-like dinosaur named after Harry Potter’s alma mater has performed a bit of black magic on its own family tree, say paleontologists who unveiled the “Dragon King of Hogwarts” on Monday in Albuquerque.

The newly described horny-headed dinosaur Dracorex hogwartsia  lived about 66 million years ago in South Dakota, just a million years short of the extinction of all dinosaurs. But its flat, almost storybook-style dragon head has overturned everything paleontologists thought they knew about the dome-head dinos called pachycephalosaurs.

Dracorex hogwartsia, which translates as “Dragon King of Hogwarts,” was unearthed in 2003 in the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota by three amateur fossil hunters working in cooperation with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. But it wasn’t until it was at the museum, while the fossil was being carefully prepared, that renowned dinosaur researcher Robert Bakker happened to catch sight of it while visiting. Bakker then recruited pachycerphalosaurs expert Sullivan and other paleontologists to take a closer look.

As for how it got its name? A group of children at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis drew the connection to the fanciful school of witchcraft that the famous fictional wizard Harry Potter attends and came up with the name hogwartsia..

“It’s a very dragon-like looking dinosaur,” said Sullivan.

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has been notified and apparently rather likes the new name.

I just hope it wasn’t a Hungarian Horntail, those things are feirce!

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