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Ancient giant lizard named after The Doors frontman Jim Morrison 
Ancient giant lizard named after The Doors frontman Jim MorrisonAncient giant lizard named after The Doors frontman Jim Morrison
A giant lizard that lived in the Eocene period has been baptised Barbaturex Morrisoni in honour of The Doors frontman Jim Morrison. The name is quite fitting as Morrison’s most used nickname is the Lizard King.

Jim Morrison’s giant lizard friends are said to be one of the largest forms of lizards that have ever treaded the surface of the earth. They date back to the Eocene period which is about 40 million years ago. Back then, the Earth was supposedly so hot that there were no ice caps.

The group of palaeontologists who named the giant lizard Barbaturex Morrisoni were led by Professor Jason Head of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Their study, which was published on Wednesday 5 June 2013, was based on fossils found in Myanmar. Needless to say, Prof Jason Head is a fan of Jim Morrison and his band.

 

Barbaturex Morrisoni

"I was listening to The Doors quite a bit during research," said Jason Head. "Some of their musical imagery includes reptiles and ancient places, and Jim Morrison was of course the Lizard King, so it kind of came together". When speaking more about this species of giant lizard, Head mentioned that “the warm climate during that period of time allowed the evolution of a large body size and the ability of plant-eating lizards to successfully compete in mammal fauna."

Another detail which lies in the name of the giant lizard is its possible “beard” indicated by the fossil’s chin flaps and dewlaps. This is why the first part of its name is Barbaturex, which means “bearded king” in Latin. As for the second part of its name (Morrisoni), its reference to Jim Morrison is blatant.

Typos: gian lizard, giant lizar, jim morisson, jim morison

The Doors official website

Image credit: ©AFP PHOTO/Nebraska State Museum of Natural History/ANGIE FOX



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