Scientists Name Prehistoric Crocodile After Lemmy Kilmister

An artists rendering of a Lemmysuchus a Jurassic-era sea-dwelling crocodile Trustees of the NHM London-AFP

Lemmy died at the tail end of 2015, but the late Motörhead frontman has posthumously been given the greatest honor any human could hope to achieve: A badass prehistoric crocodile has now been named after him.

The monster that terrorised coastal waters around Britain more than 145 million years ago had a skull measuring just over 3ft long and large, blunt teeth flawless for crushing bones and turtle shells.

"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", says University of Edinburgh paleontologist Michela Johnson in a statement issued by the National History Museum.

The fossilized remains of one of the monsters was dug up in the early twentieth century, but were initially misclassified as another type of sea crocodile.

"It can be hard to identify new species as we are normally working with incomplete fossil skeletons", Ms Johnson, a PhD student, said.

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.

Here's how the scientists discovered Lemmysuchus was no ordinary croc: They compared bones, basically, doing "careful anatomical comparison", making sure to stay clean in their research and avoiding any overkill. "Steneosaurus" obtusidens is a little-studied macrophagous species from the Oxford Clay Formation (Callovian, Middle Jurassic) of the United Kingdom and near Migné-les-Lourdines (Middle Callovian) in France. This cleared up the confusion, and a new name could be given to the species.

Ms Johnson realised it had been incorrectly classified and required a new scientific name, with the Lemmy inspiration coming from the Natural History Museum's Lorna Steel.



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