Saturday, November 12, 2005

John Cleese Officially A Monkey’s Uncle

From comes this news item:

John Cleese, who played a lemur-happy zookeeper in the 1997 film Fierce Creatures and hosted the 1998 documentary Born to Be Wild: Operation Lemur with John Cleese, now has a new species of the primate named after him.

Researches at Zurich University have dubbed a tiny, leaf-loving lemur in Madagascar, avahi cleesei.

Image of the related Avahi occidentalis from HERE.

The endangered, two-pound furry creature was discovered in the western region of the country in 1990 by the Zurich team, but wasn't named until now. Mr. Cleese has yet to comment on the distinction, but word is he's pretty pleased.

Cleese and his fellow Pythons were previously honored by the geek set in 1985 via the Montypyhtonoides riversleighensis, a fossil snake. However, the critter was later renamed.

A comprehensive list of weird scientific names can be found at the Website Curiosities in Biological Nomenclature. It’s worth a look.