A team of music-mad scientists unveiled an extinct, sea-dwelling crocodile from the Jurassic period Wednesday, which they named in honour of Motorhead lead singer Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister who died in 2015.
“Lemmysuchus” Latin for Lemmy’s crocodile — was about 5.8 metres (19 feet) long and had a skull of more than a metre similar to a modern-day saltwater crocodile to which it is only distantly related.
“It would have been one of the largest coastal predators of its time,” researchers from the Natural History Museum said in a statement.
“The teeth were large and blunt, perfect for crushing prey such as turtles.”
Lemmy’s croc was dug up at Peterborough in England in the early 20th century. But it was recently re-examined and found to have been incorrectly lumped with other sea crocodiles from the area.
Given that it belonged to a unique group, the creature “needed a new scientific name,” said the statement.
“Natural History Museum curator Lorna Steel was still mourning the demise of her favourite band, and suggested that it should be named after her musical hero.”
“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 ever to have inhabited the Earth,” the statement quoted Steel as saying.
Lemmy, a chain-smoker who boasted of drinking a bottle of Jack Daniel’s a day and of sleeping with more than 1,000 women, died in December 2015 at the age of 70 in Los Angeles.
He formed Motorhead, a metal band, in 1975.