A new shrimp-like crustacean has just been discovered in the remote coral reefs of Raja Ampat, Indonesia, according to a new study.
The crustacean has been named after musician and actor Sir Elton John because its "greatly enlarged appendage" reminded discoverer James Thomas of a popular movie character that Elton John played. The findings are published in the journal ZooKeys.
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"I named the species in honor of Sir Elton John because I have listened to his music in my lab during my entire scientific career," Thomas, a researcher at Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, explained in a press release.
He continued, "So, when this unusual crustacean with a greatly enlarged appendage appeared under my microscope after a day of collecting, an image of the shoes Elton John wore as the Pinball Wizard (in the movie "Tommy") came to mind."
Welcome then to the known animal kingdom Leucothoe eltoni. Taxonomists, scientists who study and name new species, have the choice to pick names that are relevant to locations, features of the animal, or - in this case - a person to the scientist's liking.
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Elton John was found living inside of "the branchial chambers of solitary tunicates," so Elton John was basically hanging out in one of the tube-resembling structures of another marine organism.
It has since been found in Indonesia, as well as, surprisingly, Hawaii.
That's because, in true rock star fashion, the crustacean has already gotten into trouble. Due to the timing of its arrival and possible modes of travel, Thomas and his colleagues believe it hitched a ride inside another tunicate, or sponge, attached to a large floating drydock transported to Hawaii from Subic Bay, Philippines.
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Since it's not supposed to be in Hawaii, Elton John crustacean is viewed as an invasive species there.
When last seen, the crustacean seemed to be doing well lounging in a sponge found in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu.
Thomas said that "the effects of this species" on native similar animals "and its spread in Hawaii is unknown at this time."