Polish scientists name ancient ‘feather star’ with 10 arms and sharp tentacle-like claws after Ukraine’s president Zelensky
Polish scientists who discovered a new species of marine invertebrate have named it after Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
The team from the University of Silesia, said they called the ancient 10-armed, 2-inch-long creature after the 44-year-old president in honour of his 'courage and bravery in defending Ukraine'.
Lead researcher Professor Mariusz Salamon said: "The fossil is extraordinarily preserved.
“Ausichicrinites zelenskyyi had 10 massive arms and a ring of claw-like appendages near the base to grip the sea bed.
“The animal lived 150 million years ago - and shows putative traces of arm movements.
"It has been named in honor of Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky, the sixth and current president of Ukraine, for his courage and bravery in defending free Ukraine."
Found in Africa near the River Nile in 2021, Ausichicrinites zelenskyyi is believed to be closely related to ‘feather stars’, a crinoid marine invertebrate which are abundant on rocky bottoms from the Equator to the poles.
Salmon said: “The specimen shows evidence of regeneration, which reinforces the hypothesis about the importance of predation in the evolution of feather stars."
With between 5 to 200 arms measuring up to half-a-metre long, feather stars can shed one as an anti-predator response and although not poisonous to humans, can be toxic to other animals.
The fossil of Ausichicrinites zelenskyyi, is the first Jurassic feather star discovered on the African continent.