Oh, don't ask why: 40 million years after extinction, giant lizard is named after The Doors' 'Lizard King' Jim Morrison

 

Matilda Battersby
Wednesday 05 June 2013 15:18
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A newly discovered 6ft lizard that is up to 40 million years old has been named after The Door’s frontman Jim Morrison – adding a whole new meaning to the words ‘musical scale’.

The Barbaturex morrisoni, which roamed South East Asia between 36 to 40 million years ago, was christened as such in tribute to Morrison who was known as ‘The Lizard King’.

The discovery was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Jason Head, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, led the investigation.

"I was listening to The Doors quite a bit during the research," he said. "Some of their musical imagery includes reptiles and ancient places, and Jim Morrison was of course 'The Lizard King', so it all kind of came together."

He and a team of palaeontologists analysed fossilised remains of the Barbaturex morrisoni and discovered that it was the largest plant-eating lizard to have ever existed.

It is thought that higher temperatures at the time helped the creature to evolve to its enormous size.

American-born singer-songwriter and poet Morrison died in Paris aged 27.

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