Newly identified Jurassic crocodile named after Motorhead's Lemmy

Pablo Tucker
August 10, 2017

Like the hell-raising Motorhead frontman who died in 2015, the 19ft (5.8m) long beast dubbed Lemmysuchus was no stranger to trouble.

Within the past decade, scientists have taken to naming various animals and other new species after their favorite rock stars, with the most recent being London's Natural History Museum naming a giant Jurassic era crocodile Lemmysuchus after the late Lemmy Kilmister.

Lemmysuchus obtusidens lived around 164 million years ago and was a member of an extinct group of marine crocodile relatives called teleosaurs.

A prehistoric crocodile, which was misidentified when it was first discovered in the early 20th century, has now been correctly identified and renamed.

Steneosaurus leedsi was a teleosaurid relative of Lemmysuchus and its bones are found in the same clay formation. She revealed that the specimen had been incorrectly classified and, as a result, needed a new name. The scientists say that while a few of the other finds were indeed from the same species as Lemmysuchus, most were from its relatives.

It would appear to be quite an appropriate pairing, as the beast, now known as the Lemmysuchus, could grow to almost six metres long and used its large teeth to chomp up turtles.

Hence Natural History Museum curator and Motorhead enthusiast Lorna Steel suggesting it be named after Lemmy.

"Although Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015, we'd like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures ever to have inhabited the Earth", the statement quoted Steel as saying. The reconstruction contains details relating to Motörhead, with the pattern on the head based on the band's Snaggletooth logo.

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