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Horned Dinosaur Named
>From the A.P. Online. Thought you all might be interested.
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Name Given To Horned Dinosaur
Filed at 2:46 a.m. EDT
By The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- An 8-year-old boy has the distinction of
having a dinosaur named after him. And not just any dinosaur.
The creature -- dubbed Zuniceratops christopheri -- is believed to be
the oldest horned dinosaur ever found, some 90 million years old.
The first of its fossils were discovered Nov. 11, 1996, in western New
Mexico by Christopher Wolfe of Phoenix and his dad, paleontologist
Doug Wolfe. Chris found the first piece.
With Thursday's publication of a paper in the bulletin of the New
Mexico Museum of Natural History, the name became official.
``It's exciting -- definitely real exciting,'' said Chris, a
third-grader who someday wants to explore other planets for fossils.
Chris recalls the discovery as if it were yesterday.
``My mom stopped to rest at the bottom of the hill, and we went up the
hill. I found a piece of the horn, then my dad found a piece and I
found another piece,'' Chris said in a telephone interview from
He was attracted, he said, ``by the color -- blackish purple, a little
The fossilized fragments were from the small horn that protects the
creature's eye. The plant-eating dinosaur also was marked by a
``frill,'' a shield that swept back from its neck, like that of a
Besides the horn and the brow itself, Christopher and his father, an
adjunct curator at the Mesa (Ariz.) Southwest Museum, found jaw parts,
the brain case, teeth and other fossils.
Jim Kirkland, a paleontologist from Fruita, Colo., theorizes the
three-horned Zuniceratops was 10 to 12 feet long, maybe 500 pounds and
lived 90 million to 92 million years ago.
Christopher is sure he will be a paleontologist like his dad.
``Most likely I'll be doing it in space,'' he said. ``I'll be going to
other planets and seeing if they have fossils.''
His mom, Hazel Wolfe, doesn't rule it out.
``It's certainly a possibility,'' she said. ``Hopefully he'll be able
to do some of it here, because I'd hate to send him off like that.''
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"I've been ionized, but I'm okay now."
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