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This 4-yr-old can tell the names of 100 dinosaurs in 30 minutes.

Summary: Even in school, the little guy has no qualms about telling his teacher the specifics

Kelly Clarke

Can you tell the difference between a Triceratops and a Pachyrhinosaurus?

Mohammed Aizaz Shameem can. He's a bit of an expert when it comes to the scientific names of prehistoric animals. But, did we mention he's only 4-years-old!

From the age of three, little Mohammed has been able to identify pretty much any prehistoric animal, at sight, within seconds.On the day Khaleej Times visits his home in Abu Dhabi, the impressive whizkid reels off the names of about 100 dinosaurs in the space of just 30 minutes, with no hesitation at all.Holding a small figure in one hand while pointing to the different parts of its body, he quickly reveals what it is. "This is a Spinosaurus. It has a face like a crocodile; it's stronger than the Tyrannosaurus Rex and it even has flippers to swim."

But Mohammed's talent goes far beyond just a photographic memory. He can easily identify the small-est features which distinguish one dinosaur from another too. Take the family of Sauropods for instance. At first sight, they look the same: a small head with a long neck and tail. But Mohammed said each has its own unique feature.

"The Apatosaurus has no hump on its head and has a longer neck, but the Brachiosaurus does have a hump and it's larger. It's like the Burj Khalifa of dinosaurs."

His father, Kerala-born Shameem - who is still baffled by his son's knowledge - said there's no pulling the wool over Mohammed's eyes either. "He notices so many small manufacturing errors with some of the figures we buy him. Small things that my wife and I wouldn't even notice or know."

Even in school, the little guy has no qualms about telling his teacher the specifics."In class, when his teacher says 'D for dinosaur', he says 'no, no, that's a T-Rex. It's in the dinosaur family but you can't just call it a dinosaur'.

"Your typical child, Mohammed is not. "He always says, 'don't give me chocolate as a treat, I would like a dinosaur book'. De doesn't sleep with teddy bears, he sleep with his dinosaur toys."

Mohammed's fascination with these prehistoric animals - all animals in fact - was self-taught through YouTube shows and books. It was only recently, when he started reeling off the names of dinosaurs to toy store shopkeepers, that his parents realised just how unique his talent is.

With a growing collection of books and figures filling the family home, Mohammed is still waiting to get his hands on his favourite figure - a mosasaurus. "We have looked everywhere in Dubai, but can't find one. But he will keep looking until he finds it," laughed Shameem. Well, there's no doubt what the boy wants to be when he grows up: a paleontologist, of course

"When we take him to the park, he takes my tools and goes digging, pretending to look for fossils. Most kids go on the slides, but not him.

Kelly Clarke Originally from the UK, Kelly Clarke joined Khaleej Times in November 2012. She has a keen interest in humanitarian issues and took over as the dedicated Education Reporter in August 2016. In her spare time she loves to travel off the beaten track, and often write about her quirky experiences of pastures new. Kelly received her BA Honours in Journalism from Middlesex University, UK in 2008. Before joining Khaleej Times she worked as a Supervising Editor for three Healthcare titles in London. @KellyAnn_Clarke

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Dec 12, 2017
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