Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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

Popular
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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Deserted view of NH24 near Akshardham Temple on day nine of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus on April 2, 2020 in New Delhi, India. Raj K Raj / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India is home to 21 of the world's 30 most polluted cities, but recently air pollution levels have started to drop dramatically as the second-most populated nation endures the second week of a 21-day lockdown amidst coronavirus fears, according to The Weather Channel.

Read More Show Less
A Unicef social mobilizer uses a speaker as she carries out public health awareness to prevent the spread and detect the symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus by UNICEF at Mangateen IDP camp in Juba, South Sudan on April 2. ALEX MCBRIDE / AFP / Getty Images

By Eddie Ndopu

  • South Africa is ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic in Africa.
  • Its townships are typical of high-density neighbourhoods across the continent where self-isolation will be extremely challenging.
  • The failure to eradicate extreme poverty is a threat beyond the countries in question.
Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md. on Nov. 9, 2015. Al Drago / CQ Roll Call

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of two malarial drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19, the respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, despite only anecdotal evidence that either is proven effective in treating or slowing the progression of the disease in seriously ill patients.

Read More Show Less
Some speculate that the dissemination of the Antarctic beeches or Nothofagus moorei (seen above in Australia) dates to the time when Antarctica, Australia and South America were connected. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

A team of scientists drilled into the ground near the South Pole to discover forest and fossils from the Cretaceous nearly 90 million years ago, which is the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, as the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less
The recovery of elephant seals is one of the "signs of hope" that scientists say show the oceans can recover swiftly if we let them. NOAA / CC BY 2.0

The challenges facing the world's oceans are well known: plastic pollution could crowd out fish by 2050, and the climate crisis could wipe out coral reefs by 2100.

Read More Show Less