“The biggest compliment that a biologist or palaeontologist can pay to another one is to name a fossil in his honour and I take this as a very great compliment.” – Sir David Attenborough
A 430 million-year-old fossil has been discovered by a team of scientists led by the University of Leicester.
The previously unknown crustacean is related to shrimp, crabs, crayfish and lobster. It was found in volcanic ash deposits in Herefordshire.
Only nine millimeters long, the well preserved ancient animal, eyes, antennae and all, has been named after Sir David Attenborough – in part to honor is 90th birthday. He spent some of his early days at University College Leicester, when his father was principal there.
Cascolus ravitis, here’s a breakdown of its meaning:
Cascolus, – from castrum, meaning stronghold.
colus – dwelling in, which has Old English connections to the name Attenborough.
ravitas – a combo of Ratae, a Roman name of Leicester and vita, life.
It has been reconstructed using 3D modeling.
This isn’t the first time Sir David Attenborough has had something named after him. A polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough (after the popular vote “Boaty McBoatface was discarded) a wildflower, Attenborough Hawkweed, and a butterfly, Euptychia attenboroughi, to name three.
A few other notable people with plants or animals named after them:
Mick Jagger – Aegrotocatellus jaggeri, Trilobite fossil
Kate Winslet – Agra katewinsletae, a beetle
Lady Gaga –
- Gaga, animal
- Gagadon minimonstrum. prehistoric animal
Jon Stewart – Aleiodes stewarti, wasp
Stephen Colbert –
1. Aptostichus stephencolberti, California trapdoor spider
2. Agaporomorphus colberti, Venezuelan diving beetle
3. Diamphipnoa colberti, Chilean stonefly
4. Aleiodes colberti, Wasp from Ecuador
5. Sonoma colberti, Rove beetle