Worm-like Panamanian amphibian that burrows its head in the sand named after Donald Trump

The name was chosen in honour of the president's denial of global warming 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 19 December 2018 17:52
Newly discovered blind amphibian named after President Trump (Trump credit Getty)
Newly discovered blind amphibian named after President Trump (Trump credit Getty)

A newly discovered blind amphibian has been named after President Trump in recognition of the president’s denial of climate change.

The worm-like creature's name, Dermophis donaldtrumpi, was chosen by sustainable building materials company EnviroBuild, which paid $25,000 to name the legless amphibian as part of a fundraiser for the Rainforest Trust, a nonprofit conservation group.

In a blog post, the group’s co-founder Aidan Bell explained the reasoning behind the name, by likening characteristics of the president and the squiggly caecilian that is native to Panama.

Bell compared the amphibian’s habit of burrowing its head in the sand to the president’s behaviour in regards to climate change.

“The amphibians live almost entirely underground, believed to have lost their limbs at least 60 million years ago, as an adaptation to burrowing. Burrowing its head underground helps Donald Trump when avoiding scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change and also appointed several energy lobbyists to the Environment Agency, where their job is to regulate the energy industry,” the post reads.

According to Bell, the name is fitting because, as an amphibian, Dermophis donaldtrumpi is “particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and is therefore in danger of becoming extinct as a direct result of its namesakes climate policies.”

In the blog, the organisation also insists that the name is not because it is an “overtly political organisation,” but rather because “we do feel very strongly that everyone should do everything they can to leave the world in a better way than they found it.”

Donald Trump has been outspoken regarding his climate change denial - in November, he dismissed a study compiled by 13 federal agencies and more than 300 scientists on the subject because, as CNN reports, he told reporters: “I don’t believe it.”

Although the name of the blind worm will still have to undergo peer review before it is officially approved, this is not the first time an animal has been named after President Trump.

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In 2017, a yellow-crowned moth was called Neopalpa donaldtrumpi due to its uncanny resemblance to the president’s hair.

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