Illinois Wesleyan biologist names newly discovered snake species for Harrison Ford

In an ironic twist, an Illinois Wesleyan University biologist has named a new species of snake after actor Harrison Ford. In the iconic film “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, Ford’s character Indiana Jones does not like snakes.

“There’s a big snake on the plane Jock!” Jones said. “Oh, that’s just my pet snake Reggie,” said Jock. “I hate snakes Jock! I hate them,” Jones said in an early scene after escaping danger in a temple full of traps.

They don’t really like Jones.

“Snakes. Why did they have to be snakes?’ said Jones to the Well of Souls in which the Ark of the Covenant was hidden.

It was a recurring theme in many other “Indiana Jones” films. Ford himself is quite fond of snakes.

IWU scientist Edgar Lehr discovered the “Harrison Ford Wet Snake” during an expedition to Peru in May 2022. The team included Peruvian biologists Juan Cusi, Maura Fernandez and Ricardo Vera. “The snake was a big surprise, as we didn’t expect to find a snake in a high-elevation swamp,” Lehr said.

It’s rare for new snake species to be discovered, with the closest snake relative being named in 1896, Lehr said.

Otishi National Park includes a swamp in a high mountain valley.

The copper-eyed black-bellied reptile was found sunbathing in an Andean swamp in Otishi National Park, more than 10,000 feet above sea level. It is light yellowish-brown with scattered black spots. His belly is black.

“The snake has eyes you can drown in and spends most of the day sunbathing by a pool of dirty water – we’d probably be friends in the early 60s,” Ford told Conservation International.

He is vice president of the organization that disseminates environmental news.

Harrison Ford’s Slender Snake has the scientific name “Tachymenoides harrisonfordi”. Other scientists have named an ant and a spider after Ford.

“Every new species is exciting and it is important to name it because only known organisms can be protected. We hope that the publication of the new snake species will raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity research and the importance of nature conservation,” said Lehr.

Biologist in Peru

IWU professor Edgar Lehr helped discover 100 new species of amphibians and reptiles.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ford joked while advocating for wildlife protection.

“These scientists keep naming the creatures after me, but they’re always the ones that scare the kids. I do not understand. I spend my free time cross-stitching. I sing lullabies to my basil plants so they don’t fear the night,” Ford said.

Ford also said the discovery is humbling and a reminder that there is still much to learn about the earth.

“Humans are a small part of an incredibly vast biosphere. On this planet, all fates are interconnected, and right now, a million species are drifting to the brink of oblivion. We have an existential mandate to fix our broken relationship with nature and to protect the places that sustain life,” Ford said.

The name was announced in a publication of Salamandra magazine on Tuesday.

“I was definitely influenced by the advertising for the new Indiana Jones movie and Indiana Jones’ fear of snakes. Knowing that Mr. Harrison Ford is an active conservationist who really likes snakes, his voice for nature and his service as vice president of Conservation International led to the idea of ​​dedicating this species to him,” said Lehr. Since Lehr began research in Peru in 1997, he has helped discover more than 100 species of reptiles and amphibians. Only three were snakes.

Lehr told Conservation International that he and the other scientists had to cut their mission short when they found a drone observing them at their camp in the remote region known as Peru’s Cocaine Valley.

We rely on your support to keep telling stories like this. You – along with donors across the NPR network – create a more informed audience. Fact by fact, story by story. Take a moment to donate now and fund the local news our community needs. Your support really makes a difference.

#Illinois #Wesleyan #biologist #names #newly #discovered #snake #species #Harrison #Ford

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *