A new species of snake discovered in Peru has been named after legendary actor and environmental advocate Harrison Ford.
According to a release from nonprofit Conservation International (of which Mr Ford is vice chair), the discovery of the Tachymenoides harrisonfordi was published in the Salamandra scientific journal today.
The species of Slender Snake measures 16 inches long with a pale yellowish-brown colour and some black blotches too. It was discovered in the Otishi National Park area in Peru’s Andes, a remote location only accessible by helicopter, and one of the country’s least explored.
“These scientists keep naming critters after me but it’s always the ones that terrify children. I don’t understand. I spend my free time cross-stitching. I sing lullabies to my basil plants so they won’t fear the night,” the Indiana Jones star joked.
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“In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling. It’s a reminder that there’s still so much to learn about our wild world – and that humans are one small part of an impossibly vast biosphere. On this planet, all fates are intertwined, and right now, one million species are teetering on the edge of oblivion. We have an existential mandate to mend our broken relationship with nature and protect the places that sustain life.”
Researchers said they named the snake after the actor because of his decades-long environmental advocacy with Conservation International.
“For a biologist, describing a new species and making it public with its new name is one of the most vital activities during the biodiversity crisis. I am honoured that Mr. Ford accepted our dedication,” Edgar Lehr, Professor of Biology at Illinois Weslyan University said. “We hope the new snake will create awareness about the importance of biological fieldwork that intends to discover the unknown…”
This is the third animal species named after the beloved star. We also have the Pheidole harrisonfordi which is an ant and the Calponia harrisonfordi which is a spider!
In fact, scientists have named a number of their discoveries after celebrities! Earlier this year, Keanu Reeves thanked researchers who named a fungus killing bacteria (keanumycins) after the star:
“Thank you… they should’ve called it John Wick… but that’s pretty cool… and surreal for me. But thanks, scientist people! Good luck, and thank you for helping us,” the actor posted on an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit.
And in 2022, a new millipede species (Nannaria Swiftae) was named after, you guessed it, Taylor Swift, because the scientist who discovered it is a Swiftie!
(Feature Image Credit: Conservation International; DFree/Shutterstock.com)