Extinct 'Lizard King' Named After Doors Singer
Jim Morrison honored with 'Barbaturex morrisoni'
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2013 12:05 PM CDT
In this undated publicity file photo, members of the Doors, from left, John Densmore, Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and Jim Morrison, pose for a portrait.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – Scientists recently found that a 6-foot, 60-pound lizard that lived 36 million to 40 million years ago was the largest plant-eating lizard ever to have walked the Earth, so they gave it a fitting moniker: Barbaturex morrisoni, a play on Jim Morrison's "Lizard King" alter ego. The lizard is thought to have evolved to such a large size thanks in part to the higher temperatures experienced at the time in Southeast Asia, where it lived, the BBC reports. "This is a king lizard, and [Morrison] was the lizard king, so it just fit," the lead researcher says, according to LiveScience.

Unlike modern-day, smaller lizards that often become meals for larger predators, the Barbaturex morrisoni was able to hold its own while competing for food against mammals, and was actually bigger than most meat-eating mammals, the palaeontologists who analyzed fossils of the reptile found. "I was listening to The Doors quite a bit during the research," the lead researcher says. In addition to Morrison's alter ego, "some of their musical imagery includes reptiles and ancient places."

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Jun 5, 2013 9:04 PM CDT
Riders on the Storm has always been one my all time favorites. The combination of Morrisons voice, the unbelievable keyboards, and the driving rhythm.The solo Manzarek does is almost hypnotic. It is apropro that this was Morrisons last recording. You can almost see him fading into oblivion as the song ends. Sad that there was no one around to help him overcome the booze and drugs.
Jun 5, 2013 8:02 PM CDT
This was the last song Jim Morrison recorded. He went to France and died a few weeks later. The single was released in June, 1971, shortly before Morrison's death. The last song on the last Doors album with Morrison. Fittingly, it ends with the storm fading slowly to silence. If you listen closely, you can hear Jim Morrison whispering the lyrics over his own singing, which causes a kind of creepy effect. This was Morrison's final contribution as a rock star. The late, great Ray Manzarek told Uncut magazine September 2011: "There's a whisper voice on 'Riders on the Storm,' if you listen closely, a whispered overdub that Jim adds beneath his vocal. That's the last thing he ever did. An ephemeral, whispered overdub." There are sound effects of thunder, and the faint voice of Jim Morrison whispering, "riders on the storm." This was envisioned as his spirit whispering from the beyond. Just like the lizard king being named now afterwards......................whispering back ............the storm is Life ............and we are all Riders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9o78-f2mIM
Jun 5, 2013 6:25 PM CDT
Fitting. Dead to represent dead. But the lizard was smarter and didn't poison himself to death with drugs!