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Too perfect! Scientists name newly discovered worm after Obama, but this isn’t just any old worm

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Scientists have discovered a new parasitic flatworm that lives in turtles’ blood and they have affectionately named it after Barack Obama.

This might seem fitting on many levels, but the name choice is reportedly an honor, not an insult.

According to Popular Science:

“A new species of blood fluke was found infecting the lungs of turtles in Malaysia. This parasitic flatworm has been dubbed Baracktrema obamai, in honor of the President of the United States (who is the fifth cousin twice removed of one of the discovering scientists).”

 

That scientist, Thomas Platt, discovered and named the flatworm. “This is clearly something in my small way done to honor our president,” Platt, a retired biology professor at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana, said Thursday according to the Associated Press.

Platt said Baracktrema obamai “are phenomenally incredibly resilient organisms,” and  this one reminds him of the president: “It’s long. It’s thin. And it’s cool as hell.”

The parasite, which lives in and gets nutrients from a host animal, can be added to the president’s growing list of honors including a spider, a fish and an extinct lizard named after him, according to AP.

Social media users reacted to the fitting announcement.

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Frieda Powers

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