A newly discovered ancient sea creature that lived 500 million years ago was named Obamus coronatus, after former U.S. President Barack Obama.
The ancient animal was discovered alongside Attenborites janeae, which was named after Sir David Attenborough. The English naturalist and broadcaster is not as popular as Obama but was known for his advocacy for science and support for paleontology.
Ancient Sea Creature Named After Barack Obama
A team of researchers led by scientists from the University of California-Riverside discovered the two ancient sea creatures in a well-preserved fossil bed in a mountain range in southern Australia.
Obamus coronatus, the discovery of which was published on the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, was a tiny disc-shaped animal that measured about half of an inch long, with raised spiral grooves on the surface. It is believed that have spent its whole life embedded in the ocean floor and not moving. Why would such an animal be named after Obama?
According to scientists, Obamus coronatus was named after Obama simply because of the former president's passion for science. Coronatus, meanwhile, stands for "crowned."
Attenborites janeae, meanwhile, had the shape of an egg and looked like a raisin. Janeae is in honor of Jane Fargher, who is the co-owner of the property where the ancient sea creature fossils were discovered.
The researchers, however, did not stop giving names with the two ancient animals, which were among the earliest creatures on Earth.
"I've been working in this region for 30 years, and I've never seen such a beautifully preserved bed with so many high quality and rare specimens, including Obamus and Attenborites," said Mary Droser, a paleontologist from the University of California-Riverside and the lead author of the studies on the discoveries.
The fossil bed was named Alice's Restaurant Bed, which is a tribute to the song by Arlo Guthrie and the lyrics "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."
Animals Named After Barack Obama
Among these animals are the Obamadon gracillis, an extinct insectivorous lizard that lived 5 million years ago; the Aptostichus barackobamai, a trapdoor spider that lives in the redwoods of north-central California; and Tosanoides Obama, a colorful coral reef basslet that lives exclusively on the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which was once the largest ecologically protected place on Earth.