June 13, 2013

Lizard named after The Doors' Jim Morrison


I think Jim Morrison has well and truly already attained immortality for his contribution to the music scene, and now this.

And apparently it is not uncommon to assign the names of music stars to extinct creatures!
Other creatures have been named after Beethoven and Elvis Presley, to name just two.

I can’t help wondering how some of these artists who are still alive would feel about it, however. Flattered I suppose.

Since I have posted a couple of pieces on recently discovered ancient cities, for example Great Zimbabwe and Heracleion, and a piece on a tiny monkey, Archicebus Achilles, I guess this isn’t too out of place to post as modern technological advances seem to be coming up with new information frequently!  And I am a rock music fan!


A GIANT lizard that lived 40 million years ago at a time when Earth was a hothouse has been named in honour of rock singer Jim Morrison. 
Around 1.8m from snout to tail and tipping the scales at up to 27kg, the plant-eating reptile is one of the biggest-known lizards ever to have lived on land.

It competed with mammals for food in the humid tropical forests of Southeast Asia.

A fossil of the beast, found in sediment in Sagaing district in Myanmar (Burma), has been dated to the late-middle Eocene period, when Earth was so hot there was no ice at its poles.

“We think the warm climate during that period of time allowed the evolution of a large body size and the ability of plant-eating lizards to successfully compete in mammal faunas,'' said Jason Head of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln who led the analysis.

The palaeontologists have named the long-extinct species Barbaturex Morrisoni.

“Barbaturex” means ‘bearded king’, after the team found ridges on the underside of the jaw that give lizards a beard-like appearance. 

Morrisoni'' is in tribute to Doors frontman Morrison, famed for his fascination with reptiles and shamanism.

I was listening to The Doors quite a bit during research,” said Mr Head.

“Some of their musical imagery includes reptiles and ancient places, and Jim Morrison was of course the Lizard King, so it kind of came together.''

The study appears in the British scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

With thanks to the Herald Sun