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65-Year-Old Dinosaur Expert Marries 19-Year-Old Student


"Judge all you want about the age difference. It wont matter."

19-year-old Vanessa Weaver had better brace herself for a lot of jokes about being a "dinosaur lover." The teenage co-ed just got married to no less an eminence than Jack Horner, the famous paleontologist who consulted on the Jurassic Park series of movie. The two apparently met while Weaver was interning for Horner, who she now describes as her "best friend."

However, the marriage has some people raising eyebrows. Why? Because Horner is 46 years older than his bride. For comparison, here's a wedding photo of the two:

Jezebel gives us a few more details about this rather unconventional pairing:

According to the awesomely-namedBozeman Magpie, Weaver was Horner's intern at the Museum of the Rockies, where he's curator of paleontology. She's also apparently a student at Montana State University, where Horner teaches, but it's not clear whether she was ever his student. However, she does describe herself on Twitter as "Referred to by Dr. Jack Horner as his 'protege.'" The passive voice makes this bio line a little creepy — that may be what he calls her, but what does she call herself?

Beyond that, though, there's a difference between Weaver's Twitter and that of fellow May-December bride Courtney Stodden — Weaver's is actually pretty cool. She talks about processing a Triceratops ("trike") tibia. She writes, "Are you aware that there is a Leonard Nimoy signed graphic novel in my bag? I about choked on air when I saw it." She says she's going to be in Jurassic Park 4. Basically, she sounds like a huge nerd, which means that a) she and Horner obviously share interests and b) she's a lot more appealing than a certain siren who tweets about sunning herself sensuously all the goddamn time.

Of course, her Twitter handle is Dinogirl2010 — which might be the year she graduated from high school (that year, Jack Horner would've been 63). And her Twitter account is almost totally devoted to comments about him — her very first tweet is "Paleontologist, Dr. Jack Horner (JP advisor), likes this poster and I'm going to get it for him." Weaver seems to idolize Horner. Frankly, lots of people do — he's a dinosaur expert. But in a marriage, that could lead to some difficult power dynamics — especially when one spouse has 46 years on the other.

And here's Weaver in her own words:

It is true, I am married. What people don't know is the reason I got married. I love him and he is my best friend. Judge all you want about the age difference. It wont matter. He is not my advisor, teacher, employer, and has no say in my grades at MSU. Aside from all of that, I've taken the semester off to do my research and let things simmer down. There is no reason to 'lose respect' for him. He is still the great paleontologist he has always been. If you want to know why I married him, send me a messege and I'll reply in private. If you could all just be happy for us instead of judging with your negativity, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

No doubt, some people will find it terrifying that a professor at a taxpayer-funded university can marry a girl old enough to be one of his students. And if there were evidence of any wrongdoing or coerion on Horner's part, this story would definitely set off our creep radar. However, given Weaver appears to be, for all intents and purposes, a consenting adult, the only thing we can wonder is how on earth she's going to handle the grief when this particular dinosaur goes extinct.

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