A tiny shrimp-like fossil has been discovered “frozen in time” by researchers in Herefordshire – and no, it’s not yer dad. The 1 cm long arthropod is actually an ancestor of lobsters, shrimp and spiders, and has also been named after whispery-voiced national treasure David Attenborough to celebrate his 90th birthday.
The fossil, which was found buried in volcanic rock, has been dubbed ‘Cascolus Ravitis – ‘Cascolus’ being a Latin version of the Old English name ‘Attenborough’ and ‘Rativis’ the Roman name for Leicester, where David grew up.
Sir David told the BBC that having a fossil named after him is “the biggest compliment that a biologist or paleontologist can pay to another” and that he has taken it as “a very great compliment”.
The volcanic ash the fossil was found in meant that it was perfectly preserved, with one researcher involved in the project describing it as an “undersea Pompeii”. This also allowed researchers to create a detailed 3D digital model of the fossil.
Cascoulus Ravitis isn’t the first thing Dave had named after him, either. Fans of actually-kind-of-annoying-and-not-really-that-funny memes may remember that the polar research ship the public hilariously named ‘Boaty McBoatface’ was eventually named ‘RBS Sir David Attenborough’.
He’s also had flowers, reptiles, fish, locusts, spiders, trees and more shrimps named after him, as well as a whole species of reptiles and a whole genus of plants dubbed attenboroughosauras and sirdavidia respectively in his honour.