Prehistoric Crocodile Named After Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister
A prehistoric crocodile, which was misidentified when it was first discovered in the early 20th century, has now been correctly identified and renamed. After being described as “one of the nastiest sea creatures to have inhabited the earth,” it took the name of one of the heaviest rockers to have inhabited the earth, Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead.
The croc, now named Lemmysuchus obtusidens, lived around 164 million years ago during the Middle Jurassic Period. It was a member of a group of marine crocodiles which is now entirely extinct. It believed to have inhabited the area around what is now modern-day Europe, according to The Natural History Museum in London.
“With a meter-long skull and a total length of 5.8 meters, it would have been one of the biggest coastal predators of its time,” Michela Johnson, a paleontologist who helped identify the Lemmysuchus said in a statement.
According to the museum, the Lemmysuchus had a large snout and blunt teeth meant for crushing prey with shells. While its close relatives had longer snouts and sharp teeth perfect for catching fish, the Lemmysuchus‘ snout was far shorter.
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Before subsequent fossils were found to suggest that the Lemmysuchus was in fact it’s own species, many of it’s relatives fossils were often mixed in.
When it became clear that there was a distinction between the new croc and its relatives, a name change was in order.
“Altough Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, we’d like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth,” said Lorna Steel, the museum’s curator.
In addition to his rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, Kilmister was known for helping define the heavy metal genre through out his storied career. Most notably, Kilmister was the founder and frontman of the Grammy award winning band Motörhead. He died in 2015 as a result of prostate cancer, which had only been diagnosed days before his passing.
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