Dino Mite

UPDATED 11/02/1998 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/02/1998 at 01:00 AM EST

Two years ago, when Christopher Wolfe was 7, he found a dinosaur. It had a horn growing above each brow, and it didn't have a name. Now it has one—it's named after Christopher.

Christopher's discovery came on Nov. 11, 1996, when he and his parents, Douglas, 39, a paleontologist at Mesa (Ariz.) Southwest Museum, and Hazel, 39, an educational consultant, went fossil hunting in the Zuni Basin near the Arizona-New Mexico border. "I just started walking and looked down at the ground and saw something," says Christopher, now 9, a third grader at Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary School in Phoenix. "I picked it up and said, 'Hey, dad, is this a bone?' and he said, 'Yeah.' "

Soon he and his father found enough other dinosaur parts to make Douglas suspect that they had something unusual: the fossilized bones of a hitherto-unknown species of ceratopsian, a horned dinosaur. "I just walked out of there with my hands on my head, going, 'This can't be true, this can't be true,' " says Christopher, an only child whose non-paleontological interests run to karate and soccer. "I told all my friends at school, but a lot of them didn't believe me at first."

They should have. Christopher's dinosaur, in fact, was of a species never before seen and 20 million years older than any horned dinosaur previously found in North America. For Christopher, though, the best part ("the coolest feeling," he says) was the dinosaur's name: Zuniceratops christopheri. "It's not often you get to name a new species," says Douglas, who researched the find for two years, "and this was my way to immortalize how I feel about my son."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Inside Kate's Life as a Princess Mom
  • Inside Kate's Life as a Princess Mom
  • A Duggar Engaged
  • Amanda Bynes: The Truth About Her Condition

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters