Christopher Francis Patten was born in 1944. He was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing and Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Modern History and was elected a Domus Exhibitioner. In 1965 he won a Coolidge Travelling Scholarship to the USA.
Palaeobiologists at Oxford University have discovered a new fossil arthropod, christened Enalikter aphson, in 425-million-year-old rocks in Herefordshire. It belongs to an extinct group of marine-dwelling 'short-great-appendage' arthropods, Megacheira, defined by their claw-like front limbs.