Dinosaur named after Hogwarts School

May 22, 2006

A new dinosaur species -- Dracorex hogwartsia -- named in honor of author J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter books, went on display Monday in Indianapolis.

The newly discovered, 66-million-year-old dragon-like dinosaur's name comes from the Latin words draco (meaning dragon), rex (meaning king), and hogwartsia (after the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry created by Rowling).

"The naming of Dracorex hogwartsia is easily the most unexpected honor to have come my way since the publication of the Harry Potter books!" wrote Rowling. "I am absolutely thrilled to think that Hogwarts has made a small (claw?) mark upon the fascinating world of dinosaurs."

The nearly complete skull of the previously unknown dinosaur species was discovered by three friends during a fossil collecting trip in South Dakota and then donated to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

When it was brought to the museum for cleaning and studying, it was little more than a box of parts. It took two years to glue the many fragments and restore the skull, museum officials said.

The formal announcement of the name came Monday during the seventh annual Federal Fossil Conference held in Albuquerque, N.M.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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