Fossil of Ancient Sea Creature Named After Obama

Science								Image Source UCR

Science Image Source UCR

Researchers have discovered fossils of two previously unknown creatures - among Earth's earliest animals - that lived in the shallow sea between 580-540 million years ago.

Obamus coronatus was a tiny disc-shaped animal that was about half of an inch long, with raised spiral grooves on the surface, that lived a sedentary life, spending it's whole life embedded in the ocean floor, according to Tech Times.

The two-part scientific name for the creature is meant to honor Obama's love for science., the first part being the former president's name.

Another vital person was Jane Fargher, who co-owns the property where Attenborites janeae was found and is immortalized in the name along with Attenborough.

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Add another animal onto the list of things named after former President Barack Obama.

Over 500 million years ago, deep in the dark, vast ocean, lived a creature that would one day have a connection to a 21st century American president.

The newly discovered animals, officially introduced in papers published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, are both part of the Ediacara biota, which is a group of soft-bodied animals that existed within the Ediacaran period. Also, the species they belonged to are extinct for millions of years. The same researchers who named the creatures, and who have a very profound passion for pop culture, also named this fossil bed "Alice's Restaurant Bed".

The imprint of the animal was spotted in the sandstone of a "particularly well-preserved fossil bed" in South Australia's Flinders Ranges alongside "Attenborites janeae", a new species that now has ties to another famous figure: Sir David Attenborough, an English naturalist and broadcaster. Therefore, they offered it the honor of being named after Obama.

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Attenborites janeae, meanwhile, had the shape of an egg and looked like a raisin.

It is unclear how the Ediacaran biota relate to modern animals, because they largely disappeared with the Cambrian explosion.

"The two genera that we identified are a new body plan, unlike anything else that has been described", lead author Mary Droser says in a statement.

Speaking on the discovery, Droser said "I've never seen such a beautifully preserved bed with so many high quality and rare specimens, including Obamus and Attenborites".

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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.

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