19-Million-Year-Old Swamp Creature Named After Mick Jagger
Scientists have named a long-dead creature that lived in the swamps of Africa 19 million years ago after Mick Jagger. And it's not because the Rolling Stones frontman is also super-old. Turns out the extinct animal had super-huge lips like Jagger (but, we're guessing, not moves like him).
According to Phys.org, the fossilized jaw bones found for the Jaggermeryx naida have led scientists to believe that it was "roughly the size of a small deer and akin to a cross between a slender hippo and a long-legged pig." The name, by the way, translates to "Jagger's water nymph" (which may or may not have been the name of one of the Stones' lesser-known groupies in 1969).
Researchers recently discovered the multiple jawbone fragments within sand dunes and eroded rocks in the Egyptian desert. "The animal probably had a highly innervated muzzle with mobile and tactile lips, thus the Jagger reference," said paleontologist Gregg Gunnell, who added that his favorite Stones albums are 'Let It Bleed' and 'Exile on Main St.'
The scientists think that the swamp creature belonged to a family of hoofed animals called anthracotheres, which are now extinct. While six species were located at the site, researchers noted the tiny holes on the jaw, which, they theorize, "held the nerves, providing sensation to the chin and lower lip."
And even though the fossils were uncovered in a remote desert area of Africa, the land was most likely filled with lush and tropical swamps back in the day, long before the 'Beast of Burden' singer was born.
"It may have used its sensitive snout to forage along river banks, scooping up plants with its lower teeth and large lips," Ellen Miller, who co-authored the study with Gunnell, said. "Some of my colleagues suggested naming the new species after Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, because she also has famous lips. But for me it had to be Mick."