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Child’s keen eye spots mistake on cereal box

June 13, 1997

PENN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) _ Nicholas Mauro is more than a fly-by-night movie-inspired dinosaur fan: The 8-year-old has been studying them since before he could spell rex, let alone Tyrannosaurus.

So he knew right away that the information on the back of a Lucky Charms box was wrong: The creature pictured was a triceratops, not a stegosaurus as the caption read.

``I was pretty sure I was right,″ said Nicholas, who received his first dinosaur replica when he was 2. He now has about 75 models.

Unlike the Triceratops, which has horns and a hard piece of skin rising from its neck like a fan, a Stegosaurus would have spade-shaped humps down its back.

Nicholas, who read the box while munching a bowl of the cereal this week, and his mother, Vicky Mauro, double-checked some reference books _ Nicholas has more than a dozen. Their information verified, they called General Mills, the nation’s second-largest cereal maker.

``My mom said the woman she talked to told her to shake my hand and congratulate me,″ he said.

Company spokesman Greg Zimprich said Nicholas wasn’t the only person to notice the mistake, but it was caught too late to correct.

General Mills will send each caller a ``chomping dinosaur spoon″ offered on the box as a ``Lost World″ movie promotion, he said. And the company’s web site tells children they can consider themselves dinosaur experts if they found the mistake.

Nicholas’ family already knows he’s one.

``You can’t get him on dinosaurs,″ said his grandfather, Louis Nahory.

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