Newly Discovered Ancient Sea Creature Named After President Obama

Two new sea creatures who lived 580 to 540 million years ago have officially been designated names from a pair of very distinguished public figures.

The name coronatus Obamus has the discovery, as the former head of the U.S. has paid special attention to Earth Sciences ("Сoronatus" means "crowned").

On the other hand, "janeae" refers to the co-owner of the property where both fossils were discovered, Jane Fargher.

Recent actions by the Trump administration - a wave of unprecedentedly large family separations at the border, aggressive trade-war-fueling tariffs and rebukes of allies - have made some feel as though the Barack Obama presidency was an unrecognizable era shrouded in an ancient past.

Over 500 million years ago, deep in the dark, vast ocean, lived a creature that would one day have a connection to a 21st century American president.

Both are among the earliest animals to exist on Earth. The team was lead by Mary Droser, a professor of paleontology at the university.

The animals were glimpsed in a particularly well-preserved fossil bed in Nilpena Station, west of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia that the researchers dubbed "Alice's Restaurant Bed", a tribute to the Arlo Guthrie song lyric "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant".

Alice's Restaurant Bed is teeming with prehistoric fossils from the Ediacaran Biota, a group of soft-bodied animals representing some of the earliest lifeforms on Earth.

News of the discovery was published online June 14 in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences. The creature, which had spiral grooves, spent most of its life underwater. So far, scientists have described around 50 genera, mostly comprised of only one species.

Along with this ancient animal, the scientists from the Univesity of California-Riverside also unearthed a raisin-like creature, shaped like an egg, that they named Attenborites janeae, after Sir David Attenborough, a renowned British naturalist who was advocating for science and supporting paleontology. The researchers found 36 of the O. coronatus specimens in the Nilpena National Heritage Site, a region known for its Ediacara fossils.

The two genera that we identified are a new body plan, unlike anything else that has been described.

Droser further added, "We have been seeing evidence for these animals for quite a long time, but it took us a while to verify that they not part of another animal but are animals within their own rights".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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