Paleontologists Name Bug-Eating Dinosaur After Obama
December 10, 2012 - 3:41 pm
The rot in this country is worse than you thought.
The mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago also did in lots of lizards — including a newly identified creature that’s been named Obamadon gracilis in honor of President Barack Obama.
Obama already has a type of fish (Ethiostoma obama) and lichen (Caloplaca obamae) named after him, and now the recently re-elected leader of the free world can add a foot-long, slender-toothed casualty of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction to the list.Yale paleontologist Nicholas Longrich, the lead author of a paper announcing the find in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, told me that the name arose from a conversation he had with a friend in late 2008, when folks were wondering how Obama’s election would change the political scene.
“I said, yeah, we should name a dinosaur after him,” Longrich said. “It was sort of a smart-ass comment.”
But the idea stuck. After all, this is the guy who named a different fossil “Mojoceratops.”
“It was catchy, and it seemed like a fun thing to do,” he said.
The Obamadon was about a foot long and ate bugs. Because dogs didn’t exist yet.