Several news websites, along with the power of social media tools, mainly with twitter and facebook, shared and republished a story claiming that a British university had made a clone of a dinosaur.
The story which occurred, according to the shared story, inside the Veterinary Medicine of Liverpool’s John Moore University, has been reported by a spokesman whose name was never mentioned in the published story.
In fact, inside the shared article, there was a mention of a dr. Gerrard Jones, biology professor at LJMU and the project’s leading scientist, in addition to dr. Gemma Sheridan, a LJMU chemistry professor, and also the name of PETA President Craig Farmer.
Unfortunately after searching on different websites and online phone directory for the alleged professors, I haven’t found anything related between the two names and the name of the university.
Moving on to the third mentioned name, which is PETA president, well, from the first result that Google gave me, PETA president is called Ingrid Newkrik and not Craig Farmer, (click here for Wikipedia’s info on Newkrik).
It came to my mind that maybe PETA has a new president, maybe, but I was lucky to find that the university of Pennsylvania “Penn state university” has published an invitation on its website, that Newkrik – president of PETA – is coming to speak, as mentioned in The Daily Collegian, an independent student newspaper .
While I was still trying to figure out if the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), actually published something like that or not, I went to check out their website, which fortunately has two sections: “News room” and “Press releases”, in which none of them mentioned anything about this matter.
I tried to contact the university to get more information about this matter, but there seem to be a problem with the email address mentioned on the website, I guess they are not checking the mailbox regularly 😛
Forward with the main target of this post, which is busting the usage of images.
What you are seeing on the left, is the only photo which people are circulating it, quoting that this is what the cloned dinosaur looks like today.
While digging in the web to know the source of the story, the result lead me to a website called “News hound”, which seem to be the first website that published that story along with the photo mentioned.
The photo, which seem to be true – not photoshoped – turned out that it’s far from being a dinosaur, but rather a Macropods.
The Granite Belt Wildlife Carers Incorporated (GBWC Inc), which is a group of volunteers dedicated to the rescue, care and rehabilitation of orphaned, injured and sick native wildlife, as mentioned on their website, has published the same photo mentioned previously inside a page titled “Rescuing Macropods”, defining the word “macro pods” as “large foot” animals that includes kangaroos, wallabies or wallaroos.
Now, coming back to the website, News Hound, which contains several of broken links by the way, looks like it has a big issue in credibility, not only with what I mentioned above, but also with previous stories that went viral in the past, just to name a few, in January, the same website “reported” that a planetary alignment that counteracted Earth’s gravity made everyone weightless for five minutes, or another piece about a Chinese man suing his wife over giving birth to an ugly baby, and the third one about Apple paying Microsoft a $1 billion debt all in nickels, which none of them turned out to be true in the end, but unfortunately went viral on different news outlets.