New Fossil Discovered, Named for Sir David Attenborough

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 4.49.58 PM
From left to right – David Siveter, Sir David Attenborough, and Derek Siveter.


 “The biggest compliment that a biologist or palaeontologist can pay to another one is to name a fossil in his honour and I take this as a very great compliment.”           – Sir David Attenborough


A 430 million-year-old fossil has been discovered by a team of scientists led by the University of Leicester.

The previously unknown crustacean is related to shrimp, crabs, crayfish and lobster. It was found in volcanic ash deposits in Herefordshire.

Only nine millimeters long, the well preserved ancient animal, eyes, antennae and all, has been named after Sir David Attenborough – in part to honor is 90th birthday. He spent some of his early days at University College Leicester, when his father was principal there.


Cascolus ravitis, here’s a breakdown of its meaning:

Cascolus, – from castrum, meaning stronghold.

colus – dwelling in, which has Old English connections to the name Attenborough.

ravitas – a combo of Ratae, a Roman name of Leicester and vita, life.


It has been reconstructed using 3D modeling.

Siveter et al
Credit: Siveter et al


This isn’t the first time Sir David Attenborough has had something named after him. A polar research ship,  the RRS Sir David Attenborough (after the popular vote “Boaty McBoatface was discarded) a wildflower, Attenborough Hawkweed, and a butterfly, Euptychia attenboroughi, to name three.

A few other notable people with plants or animals named after them:

Mick JaggerAegrotocatellus jaggeri, Trilobite fossil  

Kate Winslet –  Agra katewinsletae, a beetle

Lady Gaga –

  1. Gaga, animal
  2. Gagadon minimonstrum. prehistoric animal


Jon Stewart Aleiodes stewarti, wasp


Stephen Colbert –

 1. Aptostichus stephencolberti, California trapdoor spider 

2.  Agaporomorphus colberti, Venezuelan diving beetle 

3.  Diamphipnoa colberti, Chilean stonefly

4. Aleiodes colberti, Wasp from Ecuador

5. Sonoma colberti, Rove beetle 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.