Animals named after rock bands

Bands often seek inspiration from the animal kingdom for names to top their gig posters, but zoologists are also partial to dedicating their latest discoveries to the the stars of rock and roll.

12th April 2017
Animals named after rock bands (Synalpheus pinkfloydi © Sammy De Grave)

Pink Floyd, meet Synalpheus pinkfloydi (composite © RB/Redferns © Sammy De Grave)

Given there are many, many bands with animals names, it seems only fitting that there should be a few animals with bands and musicians in their names as well. Here are some of our faves, and a suitably inspired song to go with it:

Synalpheus pinkfloydi

Synalpheus pinkfloydi © Sammy De Grave
Synalpheus pinkfloydi © Sammy De Grave

This newly discovered crustacean has a massive pink claw that is able to stun or kill small fish with just the sound of its snap. Unsurprisingly, it is named after one of the loudest bands in rock, Pink Floyd, with a suitably sonorous song from their 2014 album The Endless River to accompany it.

Aegrotocatellus jaggeri -Perirehaedulus richardsi

The Rolling Stones might be old but they still rock pretty hard. That said, two extinct trilobite fossils named in 1995 after singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards are, quite literally, old hard rock. Speaking of rocks…

Arcticalymene cooki, Arcticalymene jonesi, Arcticalymene matlocki, Arcticalymene rotteni, Arcticalymene viciousi

Clearly partial to a bit of punk, the pair who described these ancient trilobites in 1997 named them all after the members of the Sex Pistols. Given some of them were discovered in the Arctic Canada while others in the warmer climate of Australia, perhaps some were looking for Holidays in the Sun.

Avalanchurus simony, Avalanchurus garfunkeli

Not the heaviest of the bands on this list, but given most extinct trilobites like this pair are found embedded in stone, we couldn’t help but be inspired by this number…

Cirolana mercury

Thanks to his unique vocal chords Queen frontman Freddie Mercury had an amazing voice – like this tiny isopod that shares his name, he was also from Zanzibar. The Cirolana mercury lives in the sea, so therein lies the tenuous link to this song.

Dicrotendipes thanatogratus

In Greek thanatos is the word for "death" while Gratus is Latin for grateful, which means there is a fly out there literally called the Grateful Dead. It's probably looking for some sugar to eat…

Rollinschaeta myoplena

Specimens of Rollinschaeta myoplena. a) NHMUK PI AN 15074 (holotype); b) AN 15072; c) AN 15077; d) AN 15078; e) AN 15066; f) AN 15075; g) AN 15070. All photographs taken under UV light /Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Specimens of Rollinschaeta myoplena. a) NHMUK PI AN 15074 (holotype); b) AN 15072; c) AN 15077; d) AN 15078; e) AN 15066; f) AN 15075; g) AN 15070. All photographs taken under UV light /Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Henry Rollins, frontman of Black Flag and the Rollins Band, is a hardcore punk legend, but he’s also an accomplished writer, movie actor and activist - he’s even video game character. But surely nothing can compare to having a fireworm named after you?

Terebellides sepultura

Brazil is home to more terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates than anywhere else in the world, making it one of the most biodiverse nations out there. Musically they equally as eclectic – about as far removed from samba as you can get, Sepultura are one of the most successful metal bands on the planet. And the creature chosen to honour them – a tube-dwelling surface deposit feeder. We'd be shouting Ratamahatta as well!

 


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