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Obamadom Latest Celebrity Naming

Scientists from Yale and Harvard universities, in naming the new species, combined the Latin Obamadon – Obama’s teeth – with gracilis – meaning slender, the lizard having very tall, straight teeth and president Obama has tall, straight incisors and a great smile.

The American president – the 44th – has apparently been delighted to learn that researchers have named a newly discovered, prehistoric lizard  – Obamadon gracilis – in honour of his toothy grin, though it looks nothing like him.

In fact, this small, insect-eating lizard – first discovered in eastern Montana in 1974 – had been wrongly classified as a Leptochamops denticulatus, but a recent re-examination showed the fossil to in fact be a new species, one of nine newly discovered species reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists from Yale and Harvard universities, in naming the new species, combined the Latin Obamadon – Obama’s teeth – with gracilis – meaning slender, the lizard having very tall, straight teeth and president Obama has tall, straight incisors and a great smile.

The small creature is thought to have lived during the Cretaceous period –  145.5 million years ago -  dying out with the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago when a giant asteroid struck. Obama is far from the first politician whose name has been used to help classify organisms.

An extinct species of plant-eating ground sloth –  Megalonyxx jeffersonii, – was named in honour of amateur palaeontologist President Thomas Jefferson, who studied the mammal, and earlier this year, researchers announced the naming five newly identified species of freshwater perch in honour of Obama, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter and Theodore Roosevelt.

One small Caribbean crustacean was named after reggae icon Bob Marley, whilst an Australian horsefly was named in honour of Beyonce, and one endangered species of marsh rabbit has been named after Hugh Hefner.

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