Schoolboy Points Out Dinosaur Mistake In London’s Natural History Museum

Despite what the sign shows, oviraptors were actually therapods. JULIUS T CSOTONYI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Despite what the sign shows, oviraptors were actually therapods. JULIUS T CSOTONYI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

London’s Natural History Museum is a monument to science and nature. Holding one of the most extensive collections of all things animal, vegetable, and mineral, as well as home to some of the world’s best scientists, who have dedicated their lives to studying them. So it’s not every day that such a fine institute makes a mistake, and even less so when it’s a 10-year-old who corrects it.

For one paleontology-obsessed boy named Charlie, however, this is exactly what happened. After realizing that the museum had made a mistake on one of the signs informing visitors about the different dinosaurs, Charlie let the museum know. And now, the Natural History Museum has admitted that Charlie was indeed right, and they’ll be changing the information accordingly.

Charlie, from Essex, was attending the museum on one of their evening events known as ““Dino Snores”, in which kids get to spend the night in the museum and do some fun activities during the night. It was during one of these activities that he told his mum about the error.

The incorrectly labeled sign that Charlie spotted. YouTube/BBC

It turned out that Charlie had noticed a sign that was meant to depict a side-by-side comparison of a human with an Oviraptor actually showed a comparison with a completely unrelated Protoceratops. And despite millions of people having passed by the display every year, it took Charlie to point this out.

“When he told us, we said, ‘OK, we know you’re good, but this is the Natural History Museum,’” Charlie’s mum told the BBC. “But he told us ‘no, give me your phone and I’ll show you’. So he googled it and I could see quite clearly it was a completely different shaped dinosaur.”

His mum explained that the fact Charlie has Asperger syndrome means that when he likes a subject, he will “find out everything about it”, and that while the other kids at the museum were busy looking at the displays, Charlie was more interested in reading about them instead.