01 Sep

President Obama and New Species

Amboina Box Turtle

Amboina Box Turtle

A new Genus and Species has been named after President Barack Obama.  This is the first time a new genus of turtle blood fluke has been proposed in 21 years.  The genus and species is Baracktrema obamai.  Dr. Thomas R. Platt of Saint Mary’s college discovered the new genus and species and named it after President Obama as an expression of his admiration of the United States president.  Dr. Platt admires the organism for it’s resiliency, he says they “face incredible obstacles to complete their journey (life cycle) and must contend with the immune system of the host in order to mature and reproduce”.  The parasite is a species found in Malaysian freshwater turtles.   It is not uncommon for scientists to name species after people they admire and respect.  There are several species named after President Obama, a few others are:

An extinct lizard:  Obamadon;   An Amazon Puffbird:  Nystalus obamai;  A Darter fish:  Etheostama obama

Obamadon

Obamadon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joao Quental cc-by-2.0 generic license

Joao Quental cc-by-2.0 generic license

 

 

 

 

 

Spangled Darter

Spangled Darter

 

 

 

 

 

 

RobinP

journalofparasitology.org/doi/full/10.1645/15-893