Prehistoric Lizard Named After Barack Obama - Can You Guess Why?

By Luke Y. Thompson in Nerdery
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 9:14 am

obamadon.jpg
Frank C. Müller, Baden-Baden + official White House portrait

Most presidents get at least an elementary school named after them. Some get airports. Our current president, however, now has a dinosaur named after him: the Obamadon, a small lizard with straight teeth.

Now, you may wonder why the choice to name this specific, previously unknown species after the president. Could it be that it represented a significant difference on the evolutionary scale that signified change? Was it differently colored from the majority, but in a manner that most other dinosaurs didn't notice or hold against it? Was it a reptile that believed in the redistribution of resources between all dinosaurs?

No.

"The genus name refers to Barack Hussein Obama and odon (tooth in Greek), in reference to the tall, straight teeth, and the manner in which Mr Obama has acted as a role model of good oral hygiene for the world."

So you're saying they'll never name a dinosaur after an English prime minister, then. (I kid, I kid...I am half-English, and we get to roast one another.)

But then there's also this:

"No one should impute any political significance to the decision to name the extinct lizard after the recently re-elected U.S. president. We're just having fun with taxonomy."

So which is it? Having fun with taxonomy, or rejoicing in our commander-in-chief's supposedly exemplary dental hygiene? If it's all about the teeth, we'd have suggested the Robbinsaurus or the Peetadon first.

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