By October 31, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Newly Discovered Species Named for President Obama

President Obama honored by having a new found organism named after him.

President Obama honored by having a new found organism named after him.

A new organism has been discovered and named after President Obama. The organism is described in the August issue of Journal of Parasitology (JoP) as having a long, thread-like body. It represents both a new genus and species of parasitic flatworm and has been given the official name of Baracktrema obamai. The scientist who named the organism said it reminded him of the president: “It’s long. It’s thin. And it’s cool as hell.”

Thomas Platt, a newly retired biology professor at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana, discovered the two-inch long, hair thin organism and chose its name. Platt is a 5th cousin, twice removed, of President Obama, and has 32 new species to his credit. He has named these species for his father-in-law, his doctorate advisor, and other people for whom he has a great deal of respect. “This is clearly something in my small way done to honor our president,” he says.

According to Rutgers University biologist and editor of JoP, Michael Sukhedo, parasites are crucial to life and are all around us; about seven out of ten animals on Earth are parasites. Platt says, “Baracktrema obamai are phenomenally incredibly resilient organisms. I hold them in awe and with phenomenal respect.”

Naming a new species “is a big decision,” Sukhedo stated.  He acknowledged that a few times names have been used for revenge, as when a biologist named a group of parasites “microphallus” for her ex-husband. However, he maintained that names are usually bestowed as an honor, as in the case with Platt.

President Obama also has a spider, a fish, and a prehistoric lizard named after him.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.