SCIENCE

Monstrously 'Nasty' Ancient Crocodile Gets Named After Lemmy From Motorhead

The croc was "one of the biggest coastal predators of its time."

08/10/2017 04:14 EDT
Marc Broussely via Getty Images
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead received a posthumous honor when scientists lent his name to an ancient and "nasty" crocodile.

It’s a fitting tribute for one of the true monsters of rock.

Lemmy Kilmister, the gravel-voiced singer and founder of Motorhead who died two years ago, received the ultimate honor when British scientists named a prehistoric crocodile after him.

Meet Crocodile Lemmysuchus, a 20-foot-long predator that lived 164 million years ago and was just as ferocious as a Motorhead song:

“Although Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, we’d like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth,” Natural History Museum, London curator Lorna Steel said in a news release.  

This “nasty” creature ― the croc, not Lemmy ― lurked in shallow waters, where it “would have been one of the biggest coastal predators of its time,” University of Edinburgh paleontologist Michela Johnson was quoted as saying. 

While many of its telosaur relatives developed long snouts and thin teeth for catching and eating fish, Lemmysuchus went in its own direction. The creature’s 3-foot-long skull evolved to have a broad snout and large teeth to crush the shells of turtles and other prey, the museum said.

Lemmy may not have crushed turtle shells, but he was certainly known for his bone-shaking bass lines

Although the croc specimen was found a century ago, it was incorrectly cataloged at the time. A more recent look at the fossils revealed a previously unknown creature, and that meant it needed a new name. 

“As a long-standing Motorhead fan, I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to immortalize the rock star in this way,” Steel told the BBC.

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