May 22, 2006
A recently discovered species of dinosaurs will bear a name given in honor of the Harry Potter novels. Approved by J.K. Rowling, “Dracorex Hogwartsia” is being unveiled this morning at The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. This new species was discovered at the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota, and Paleontologists spent two years cleaning and rebuilding the skull, which has spiky horns, bumps, a long muzzle, and a flat head. After completion of the restoration, visitors thought this new herbivore dinosaur looked like a dragon, and they decided to name it after the creatures in the Harry Potter books. The Indy Star reports:
Dracorex hogwartsia, a member of the pachycephalosaur family, honors Rowling’s use of dragons in her wildly popular children’s book series. The name comes from the Latin words draco (dragon), rex (king), and hogwartsia (after the fictional Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry in “Harry Potter”).
UPDATE: We now a complete statement from from JKR about the naming of this dinosaur. Jo said:
â€œThe naming of Dracorex hogwartsia is easily the most unexpected honour to have come my way since the publication of the Harry Potter books! I am absolutely thrilled to think that Hogwarts has made a small (claw?) mark upon the fascinating world of dinosaurs. I happen to know more on the subject of paleontology than many might credit, because my eldest daughter was Utahraptor-obsessed and I am now living with a passionate Tyrannosaurus rex-lover, aged three. My credibility has soared within my science-loving family, and I am very much looking forward to reading Dr. Bakker’s paper describing ‘my’ dinosaur, which I can’t help visualising as a slightly less pyromaniac Hungarian Horntail.”
We will have photos up shortly for you of Dracorex ASAP, so stay tuned! Dr. Bakker also described in further detail how they came to name the dinosaur.
â€œThe creature is a very special dinosaur that seems at home in a â€œHarry Potterâ€ adventure,â€ explained Bakker. â€œIt was a plant-eater, only about as heavy as the war horse of a medieval knight. And it carried an armor-plated head of almost magical configuration, covered with knobs and spikes, horns and crests. I was staring at the skull last summer, and the name just popped into my head, hogwartsia”