SCIENCE
09/11/2014 02:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Ancient Swamp Creature Named For Mick Jagger—And For Good Reason

Christopher Simon Sykes via Getty Images

Sure, being knighted is an impressive achievement. But you haven't really made it big until scientists name a prehistoric swamp creature after you.

That's why a new paper published on Sept. 8 in the Journal of Paleontology is such good news for Mick Jagger. It describes an extinct animal that researchers named Jaggermeryx naida -- because like Jagger, it had big lips.

“Some of my colleagues suggested naming the new species after Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, because she also has famous lips," study co-author Dr. Ellen Miller, an anthropologist at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, said in a written statement. "But for me it had to be Mick.”

The jaw bones of Jaggermeryx naida, which translates to "Jagger’s water nymph," suggest that the animal had a nerve-rich muzzle with "mobile and tactile lips,” the researchers said. The animal was likely the size of a small deer, looking a bit like a cross between a "slender hippo and a long-legged pig."

Though the bones were discovered in the desert region of Egypt, they researchers said that the area was likely a lush tropical delta when Jaggermeryx lived there around 19 million years ago.

“It may have used its sensitive snout to forage along river banks, scooping up plants with its lower teeth and large lips,” Miller said in the statement.

It's not the first creature to be named after rock royalty. Jagger, along with Rolling Stones bandmate Keith Richards, both have ancient trilobites -- extinct marine arthropods -- named after them.

For a comprehensive list of animals named after celebrities, read more here.

creature mick jagger
Top and side views of a fossilized jaw bone of an ancient creature recently named after Mick Jagger, because of the animal’s big, sensitive lips and snout.

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