Cryptozoology lovers probably saw this coming. Recently, several newly found species of animals have been dubbed Star Wars-inspired names. Do you think the creatures are worthy of their namesakes? Let’s take a look!
In the last couple years we’ve learned of other newly found creatures being given names based on the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter worlds. Not to be outdone, fans of the Star Wars series who are also scientists have evened the playing field! Here’s a round-up of seven newly found creatures that have been given scientific names based on characters from the Star Wars series.
Queen Padme Amidala
I’m not sure if she’d be pleased or shouting, “Off with their heads!” But the queen has inspired a name given to a very strange looking creature. Paleontologists who found the remains of this extinct type of giraffe thought of the queen when they saw the headgear worn by this creature.
Meet Xenokeryx amidalae. This animal had two modified horns (called ossicones) on its head, resembling those of a modern day giraffe’s. Its brow rose steeply until it reached the back of the skull where it formed a T-shaped structure. The paleontologists said this animals headgear reminded them of that worn by the queen.
When I first saw the name I had hoped this would be a colossal sized creature along the lines of Bigfoot! Alas, it’s a small moth. However, it’s the hairiest darn bug I’ve even seen, so in that regard, it earns the nod to the big guy.
Meet Wockia chewbacca. Scientists tell us this creature lives in Western Mexico, in the dry forest region.
At first you might wonder how this tiny ant could be connected to the powerful and influential Jedi of the Star Wars world. But the scientists insist these ants share traits of the Jedi, notably, “… [they are] noble, and wise guardians of peace from the ‘Star Wars’ universe created by George Lucas.”
Meet Tetramorium jedi. I guess we’ll have to take their word for it.
Remember the desert on Tatooine where that horrible creature lived, the Sarlacc (plural Sarrlacci)? Well now we have a new species of spider named after it. It’s a California spider.
Meet Aptostichus sarlacc. It’s hard to see the face in this drawing, but as the original sarlacc was described as a “multi-tentacled alien beast whose immense, gaping maw is lined with rows of sharp teeth” by Wiki, I feel no rush to go out and find one of these spiders.
How the mighty have fallen! Instead of lending his name to large and incredible animal, the heavy breathing meany gives his name to a tiny, microscopic mite. This miniscule animal lives in the trees of Eastern Australia.
Meet Darthvaderum, representing a new genus on that family tree. The discovering scientist, Glenn Hunt, said that its mouth and “feeding parts” reminded him of Darth Vader’s face.
Scientists found a new species of acorn-worm wobbling around the sea floor of the North Atlantic ocean. Acorn worms resemble acorns on one end, but this new species also had “floppy wings” on either side of its head. The scientists were reminded of Yoda’s big ears and the rest is now history.
Meet Yoda pupurata, because they are also purple.
A new species of catfish was named after the character Greedo of Rodia. The fish is a flat-headed variety of catfish with bulging eyes. The scientists who found it believe it looks a lot like Greedo.
Meet Peckoltia greedoi. They didn’t say whether they were good eating, though.
The Search Continues
The search continues to find new species of incredible animals. I hope the trend to name them after fictional characters continues. It’s a nice tribute to human history and creativity.
Who or what would you name a new creature after?