Discover the New Snake Species Named in Honor of `Indiana Jones`

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: August 15, 2023
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Tachymenoides harrisonfordi is a slim snake with a respectable adult length of 16 inches. Although the predator’s taste includes lizards and frogs, it is not dangerous to people. Even while the snake species itself isn’t exactly something out of an action movie, researchers were taken on a heart-pounding adventure by its discovery. 

A group of researchers hikes across an alpine wetland deep in the Andes. They comb amid dense grass in the distant regions of a plateau being monitored by armed gunmen looking for something precious. 

They soon discovered what we now know as Tachymenoides harrisonfordi. According to a study collaborated on by specialists from Conservation International, reptiles are especially vulnerable to extinction, with over one-fifth of them now facing this threat.

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Lake in the Andes, Huayhuach, Peru

The snake named after the Indiana Jones actor was discovered in Peru.

©Jujubier/Shutterstock.com

The snake species blends in nicely with its surroundings thanks to its light yellowish-brown coloring. It also features sporadic black blotches, black abdomen, and vertical band over its copper eyes. Harrison Ford is no stranger to helping the world. 

Although we know him as a famous actor, Ford has a decades-long environmental involvement, demonstrated by his position as vice chair of Conservation International. This is a group that publicized the news and other environmentally concerned efforts. This is where the inspiration for the snake’s moniker came from.

Species Named After Celebrities

Harrison Ford isn’t the only one with an animal named after him. In fact, there are several species and critters that get their name from those on the big screen. Richard Dawkins, a British evolutionary biologist, has the honor of being the inspiration behind the name of a fish. 

A collection of black spot barbs was given the honorary name Dawkinsia. We have the Sri Lankan biologist who first identified it to thank for that. The crab species Gnathia marleyi belongs to the Gnathiidae family. 

Ground beetle species Carabus auronitens, trivial name: golden ground beetle

There are over 40,000 types of Carabid beetles!

©Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.com

Bob Marley, a reggae musician, inspired its name. An English actress named Kate Winslet sparked the idea for the name of a species of carabid beetle, Agra katewinsletae. The holotype was discovered in Costa Rica, and it was initially scientifically defined in 2002.

Attenborosaurus conybeari is a plesiosaur identified by US paleontologist Robert Bakker. It is one of many species named after the renowned British naturalist David Attenborough. Attenborough’s early passion for Liassic plesiosaurs still inspires a remarkable profession in scientific reportingaccording to a statement made by Bakker.

Lastly, a tree frog was given His Royal Highness’ name in 2012 in honor of his humanitarian efforts to preserve the frogs’ rainforest environment. The Prince Charles stream tree frog, Hyloscirtus princecharlesi, was first found in Ecuador in 2008.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © passkphoto/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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