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Blind, Burrowing, Thin-Skinned Worm Named After Climate-Denier Trump

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Blind, Burrowing, Thin-Skinned Worm Named After Climate-Denier Trump
The Dermophis donaldtrumpi was named in recognition of his namesake's climate change denial. MSNBC YouTube screenshot

By Abby Zimet

To those patriots who consider our Pretender-to-the-Throne a reptilian shape-shifter, mazel tov: Now he officially is one. A small, blind, shiny, worm-like amphibian newly discovered in Panama which buries its head in the ground will henceforth be named Dermophis donaldtrumpi in recognition of his namesake's climate change denial.


The naming rights for the 10-centimeter creature—a Caecilian, or legless amphibian—were auctioned off in a fundraiser for the 30th anniversary of the Rainforest Trust. The auction gave bidders the chance to name 12 species—four frogs, four orchids, a forest mouse, a trap-jaw ant, a salamander and the caecilian—identified in Latin American reserves created by the Trust and local partners, with proceeds going to protect and preserve the species' habitat.

While protecting the world's rainforests is one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change, the Trust estimates almost 70,000 acres are destroyed almost daily, causing devastating damage.

Among the new species, the caecilian garnered the largest bid: $25,000 from Aidan Bell, the head of sustainable building company EnviroBuild. While Trump and his ludicrous hair piece have inspired other facsimiles—a golden pheasant, a venomous caterpillar, a yellow-haired moth—Bell argues his creature and his new moniker are an ideal match. "It is the perfect name," he says. "Caecilian is taken from the Latin caecus, meaning 'blind,' perfectly mirroring the strategic vision (Trump) has consistently shown towards climate change."

Bell cites other fabulous likenesses: Caecilians can only detect light or dark, so see the world in simplistic black and white; thin-skinned, they grow an extra layer of skin their young peel off and eat before going on to jobs in the Oval Office; they live largely underground, thus helping them avoid scientific consensus; they have tentacles they use to catch prey; as amphibians, they're especially susceptible to global warming, and thus to extinction; and they are soulless, slithering, primordial worms, so ... yeah.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

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