Company Paid $25K to Name 4-Inch Critter After Trump

Worm-like 'Dermophis donaldtrumpi' buries its head in the sand
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2018 6:21 AM CST
Company Paid $25K to Name Amphibian After Trump
Uncanny.   (EnviroBuild via Facebook)

A UK-based company paid $25,000 to name a newly discovered amphibian after President Trump. Hence the Dermophis donaldtrumpi, a small, blind caecilian that buries its head in the sand. On climate change, so does the president, according to Aidan Bell, co-founder of sustainable building materials company EnviroBuild, which bid $25,000 at an auction fundraiser benefiting the nonprofit Rainforest Trust to nab the naming honor and raise awareness about climate change, per the BBC. Dermophis donaldtrumpi—shiny, worm-like, about 4 inches long, and discovered living mostly underground in Panama—"is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and is therefore in danger of becoming extinct as a direct result of its namesake's climate policies," Bell says in a blog.

But Bell, referencing Trump's pro-fossil fuel agenda and doubts about climate change, says there are other reasons why Dermophis donaldtrumpi is "the perfect name," per the Guardian. Like a caecilian, whose eyes can only detect light and dark, Trump is "capable of seeing the world only in black and white" and "has claimed that climate change is a hoax by the Chinese," Bell says, per ABC Australia. On top of that, caecilian comes from a Latin word for blind, "perfectly mirroring the strategic vision President Trump has consistently shown towards climate change," while "burrowing [his] head underground helps Donald Trump when avoiding scientific consensus on anthropomorphic climate change." Per the Guardian, scientists have agreed to use the name chosen by Bell in scientific literature announcing the discovery. (A moth was named for Trump, too.)

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