The trilobites are fossilised marine arthropods that occurred abundantly during the Palaeozoic era. They had created a utopia, an actual garden of Eden on earth, several million years ago. They were the influencers of the ecosystem and had adapted into every role except parasitism – though that’s still being debated. Trilobites live as predators, scavengers, filter feeders, and some even feed on plankton. They were the life form that was directing the entire ecosystem, humming commands with their plate-skin as they swam across the oceans. They even had a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that ate sulphur, the poison of the sea.
As though to pay patronage to this now-extinct and fascinating race, the names of the greatest musicians of the 20th century were included in the nomenclature assigned to every type of trilobite.
Pretty much even today, Marilyn Monroe is a sex symbol and has defined glamour. She influenced the lives of – and inspired fantasies in – a lot of men, including scientists. The scientists who discovered a trilobite that had a unique hourglass-like structure on its head associated it to Monroe’s famous figure and tagged the species Norasaphus monroeae. The scientists also took “Nora” from Monroe’s real name.
The name Aegrotocatellus Jaggeri, with a protruding mouth or lower lip structure, was given to a trilobite as a tribute to Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. Jagger, a music icon and one of the founders of the Rolling stones, is also famous for his pout and for sticking out his tongue.
Mick Jagger and Angelina Jolie’s names were considered, when scientists were trying to tag the water mammal, Jaggermeryx naida. After a debate, the scientists agreed Mick Jagger had the “pouty” lips that would help us remember the extinct, hippo-like creature better.
The Ramones were paid tribute by being assigned to a family of Siluvian trilobites – the word Mackenziurus preceded johnnyi, joeyi, deedeei, and ceejayi respectively, after the 4 most popular members of the band. Interestingly, these trilobites, like the Ramones, had spread and flourished across a wide environment but did not sustain after a while and died out.
It’s not just trilobites, famous personalities the world over been an inspiration for naming a newly found creature or plant. But Trilobites in specific have had their names taken from significant musicians – 19 Trilobites were named after music personalities. More trilobites have been named after musicians – like the Arcticalymene matlocki, Perirehaedulus richardsi, Aegrotocatellus nankerphelgeorum – than any other professionals.
Here’s one more musician, and the trilobite, named after him, Avalanchurus simoni – A tribute was also paid to Art Garfunkel, and that trilobite was called, Avalanchurus garfunkeli.
The Beatles were integral to the evolution of music, and all the members of the band had their names tagged to a trilobite, with the exception of George Harrison, who got no trilobite, not even a beetle, named after him. Perhaps there’s one out there, somewhere, waiting to be found, that matches his personality.