British scientists have not cloned an Apatosaurus dinosaur and called it “Spot.”
The story was published on fake news site News-Hound.org, a purveyor of hoax stories.
“The dinosaur, a baby Apatosaurus nicknamed ‘Spot,’ is currently being incubated at the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The scientists extracted DNA from preserved Apatosaurus fossils, which were on display at the university’s museum of natural science,” it reads. “Once the DNA was harvested, scientists injected it into a fertile ostrich womb.”
The fake report doesn’t have any sources, while no legitimate media outlets have covered the cloning of a dinosaur. If scientists actually had cloned a dinosaur, it would surely be top news across websites across the world, and news sites like CNN and the BBC would feature it.
The article quotes “Dr. Gemma Sheridan,” which was a name used in a previous fake News-Hound article about a woman (named Gemma Sheridan) who was trapped on a deserted island for a few years.
Sheridan, of Liverpool, England, is actually the name of friend of the owners of News-Hound, she told the Liverpool Echo newspaper. “The people behind the website are just a good friend with a strange sense of humour and busy brain,” Sheridan told the Echo. “They posted the story then messaged me saying they were going to make me famous. I thought the story was a good one and it made me laugh.”
She said the operators of News-Hound often make up fake stories.
The dinosaur cloning article is fake, according to hoax-debunking website Snopes, which says: “First of all, the NewsHound web site is not a news site at all, and it has, in place of reporting on actual events, reproduced a number of other hoaxes and spoofs as if they were real news, such as long-debunked stories about a Chinese man suing his wife over giving birth to an ugly baby, Apple paying Microsoft [sic] a $1 billion debt all in nickels, and a planetary alignment causing gravity on Earth to be negated for five minutes.”
It adds: “Second, the Newshound article’s photograph of the baby dinosaur is actually a picture of a baby kangaroo published by an Australian community group to accompany an article about rescuing injured macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) where it is shown as an illustration of an unfurred joey (newborn kangaroo). Finally, no other reports of this story or any other corroborating information related to it has been reported by the mainstream press or any other credible outlet.”
A number of conspiracy theory-related websites republished the News-Hound hoax.