Hundreds of species of feather stars are known; like the starfish, they belong to the echinoderm family. Now Polish researchers are naming a fossil crinoid after Volodymyr Zelenskyy. They want to honor the Ukrainian president "for his courage and bravery in defending free Ukraine."
Polish researchers have named a crinoid fossil after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The petrified animal was discovered in Ethiopia and is almost completely preserved, reports the team led by researcher Mariusz Salamon from the University of Katowice.
The scientists named the discovered species Ausichicrinites zelenskyyi. The feather stars that live in the sea are very species-rich and, like the starfish, belong to the echinoderms. With the naming, the researchers wanted to honor Zelenskyy "for his courage and bravery in the defense of free Ukraine".
The specimen that has now been found is around 150 million years old, the scientists write in the journal "Royal Society Open Science". It has ten arms and claw-like appendages. It is the first find of a fossil feather star from the Jurassic geological era on the African continent. Several hundred species of crinoids are known to researchers.
The tradition of scientific naming goes back to Carl von Linné (1707-1778). To this day, new animals and plants are named after his "Systema Naturae" with a two-part name for genus (uppercase) and species (lowercase). In April, Torben Riehl, a deep-sea researcher from Senckenberg, explained that people usually look for a name that expresses the special nature of this species. The discoverer can also combine this with an honor and dedicate the species to someone special.
In mid-April, an extinct species of brittle stars - relatives of the starfish - was named after the Frankfurt trash metal band Tankard: Ophiura tankardi. It was discovered in sediments during a geothermal well in Nierstein near Mainz. The find is around 30 million years old. It can be seen in the "Rock Fossils" exhibition at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt until September 4th.