So you’re a prehistoric African swamp creature, quite happily extinct for millions of years and unknown to the modern world, and then some paleontologists amble along and discover you, which is annoying enough–but they make it worse by describing you as “a cross between a slender hippo and a long-legged pig,” while you’ve always thought of yourself as more the other way around. Then, to add insult to injury, they name you after Mick Jagger. Insert fossil joke here.
Scientists have dubbed the swamp creature Jaggermeryx naida (Jagger’s water nymph) because of its “highly innervated muzzle with mobile and tactile lips.” The fossilised remains of the animal were discovered in Egypt and almost named after Angelina Jolie. “Some of my colleagues suggested naming the new species after Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, because she also has famous lips. But for me it had to be Mick,” said scientist Ellen Miller. Miller and her fellow paleontologists think the mammal, which was about the size of a small deer, “may have used its sensitive snout to forage along river banks, scooping up plants with its lower teeth and large lips.” Jagger, meanwhile, forages in fashion shows and nightclubs to scoop out supermodels. This is not the first time the aging rocker has had the dubious honor of having his name attached to newly-discovered creatures. He’s also the namesake of Anomphalus jaggerius, a kind of snail, and Aegrotocatellus jaggeri, a trilobite. Fellow Rolling Stone Keith Richards also has a trilobite named after him. Naming organisms after famous people is surprisingly rather common. The Gnathia marleyi is named for Bob Marley (we’re thinking it’s the most relaxed creature in the sea), while the horsefly Scaptia beyonceae is named after Beyonce “because of its striking golden behind.”