A swamp-dwelling, plant-munching creature that lived 19 million years ago in Africa has been named after Rolling Stones lead singer Sir Mick Jagger, because of its big, sensitive lips and snout. The name of the animal, Jaggermeryx naida, translates to 'Jagger's water nymph.'
|Top and side views of a fossilized jaw |
bone of an ancient creature recently
named after Mick Jagger, in honor of the
animal's big, sensitive lips and snout.
Sir Mick Jagger has a new animal named after him. Scientists have named an extinct swamp-dwelling creature that lived 19 million years ago in Africa after the Rolling Stones frontman, in honor of a trait they both share -- their supersized lips.
"We gave it the scientific name Jaggermeryx naida, which translates to 'Jagger's water nymph,'" said study co-author Ellen Miller of Wake Forest University. The animal's fossilized jaw bones suggest it was roughly the size of a small deer and akin to a cross between a slender hippo and a long-legged pig.
Researchers uncovered the fossils -- consisting of multiple jawbone fragments -- amid the sand dunes and eroded rock of a remote site in the Egyptian desert.
The creature belonged to a family of extinct hoofed animals called anthracotheres. Jaggermeryx is one of six species of anthracotheres found at the site. What distinguished it from other members of this family was a series of tiny holes on either side of its jaw that held the nerves providing sensation to the chin and lower lip.
"The animal probably had a highly innervated muzzle with mobile and tactile lips, thus the Jagger reference," said Duke University paleontologist and study co-author Gregg Gunnell.
More at Science Daily.