Science

Scientists have named the fossil of an animal in honor of Obama,

Scientists have named the fossil of an animal in honor of Obama,”

Former president Barack Obama waves as he leaves the stage after speaking during the Goalkeepers Conference hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sept. 20, 2017, in NY.

The prehistoric animal was disc-shaped and was only about half an inch long. The second part of the name is a reference to Jane Fargher, one of the owners of the property where the experts discovered the fossils. The animal was named after the famed naturalist because of his role in popularizing science and support of paleontology. The discoveries, named Attenborites janeae and Obamus coronatus were reported in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences on May 23, 2018, and on June 14, 2018.

Former President Barack Obama has a strong liking for science and hence this honour to the mortal where "Coronatus" means "crowned".

Both animals are speculated to be some of the first organisms to exist over 500 million years ago. Both discoveries made previous year were recently announced in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences. From a taxonomy perspective, the Ediacara Biota are not yet organized into families, and scientists don't know much about how these creatures relate to modern life. About 50 genera have been described, Droser said, which often have only one species.

The Flinders Ranges are the mountain ranges responsible for producing so many high-quality fossils from the Ediacaran Biota so many hundreds of millions of years ago.

Attenborites janeae, meanwhile, had the shape of an egg and looked like a raisin. It was dubbed "Alice's Restaurant Bed", an homage to the Arlo Guthrie song and its refrain: "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant". "We have been seeing evidence for these animals for quite a long time, but it took us a while to verify that they are animals within their own rights and not part of another animal", explained Mary Dorser.

"I've been working in this region for 30 years, and I've never seen such a beautifully preserved bed with so many high-quality and rare specimens, including Obamus", Droser said.

Droser also commented on the importance of protecting the Flinders Ranges region, highlighting how these discoveries may help in the effort to obtain World Heritage Site status. Other authors include Pete Dzaugis and Scott Evans, both from the University of California - Riverside.

Ian Hughes of Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and Emily Hughes of Wesleyan University also participated in the research.



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