Arkansas State University biologist Paul Sikkel is such a Bob Marley fan that he decided to name a recently discovered parasite after the legendary reggae star. The parasite, which feeds on the blood of Caribbean fish, was discovered a decade ago, but it was only recently revealed that Gnathia marleyi owed its name to the musician, according to The Associated Press.
I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley's music, Sikkel said. Plus, this species is uniquely Carribbean, as was Marley.
Marley, who died in 1981 of cancer, joins a list of notable people to have creatures named after them. President George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger have species of beetles named after them. So do, in fact, The Beatles.
The parasitic association with Marley is particularly appropriate because of a long-held urban myth that he died with hundreds of kinds of lice and other bugs in his dreadlocks. There doesn't seem to be any concrete evidence for or against that claim, but Marley joins another singer in this respect. Beyonce Knowles, known almost as much for her booty as for her hit albums, has a horsefly with a golden rear end named after her, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Other than its name, gnathia marleyi itself seems to have nothing in common with Marley. The parasite, one of the gnaathid family, hides in algae and coral, lying in wait for the fish it hopes to feed on. It's hard to picture the noted marijuana smoker attacking anything, much less planning a sudedne ambush.
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