Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Blind, burrowing amphibian named after Donald Trump

By Jack Guy, CNN
Updated 7:44 AM ET, Wed December 19, 2018

After winning an auction to name a newly discovered blind amphibian, a British company chose Donald Trump as the creature's namesake, likening its behavior to the US President's stance on climate change.

Dermophis donaldtrumpi was discovered in Panama and has a propensity for burrowing its head in the ground, said Aidan Bell, co-founder of sustainable building materials company EnviroBuild.

"Realizing the similarities between the amazing but previously unknown creature and the leader of the free world we couldn't resist buying the rights," Bell told CNN via email.

The animal is a caecilian -- a limbless, burrowing amphibian -- that spends most of its time underground, according to a statement from EnviroBuild. It lost its limbs around 60 million years ago but does have tentacles that it uses to find prey.

"As demorphis donaldtrumpi is an amphibian, it 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," said Bell in a statement.


Bell told CNN that his company had grown frustrated by the lack of progress at the COP24 climate talks in Katowice, Poland at the beginning of December.

"We're not a political company, but climate change shouldn't be political either," he said.


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