Most Unexpected Metal Thing Of The Day: Fossil named after King Diamond!

By on 18 September 2012

A Swedish scientist (and metalhead, of course) recently discovered a 420-million-year-old fossil and decided to name it after metal legend King Diamond, as you do.

Well, Dr Mats E. Eriksson an associate professor of Paleontology at the Department of Geology at Lund University in Lund, does. He made headlines in 2006 when he named a fossilised worm after Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister and he explains: “A circa 420 million year old fossil organism was recently discovered from Silurian rocks of Sweden and Estonia. It is the remains of a marine worm with jaws. The critter was baptized Kingnites diamondi in honour of Danish metal maestro King Diamond.”

According to GFF, a Scandinavian journal of Earth Sciences, “The polychaete annelid Kingnites diamondi, a new paulinitid genus and species, is described from the Silurian of Baltoscandia. Its large maxillae differ morphologically from those of all other known paulinitids, particularly in being very elongate and having conspicuous myocoele openings and posterior portions of the first maxillae (MI). Albeit rare, this polychaete taxon is highly characteristic and appears to be confined to the Wenlock-Ludlow transitional interval on Gotland, Sweden, and ranges into the upper Ludlow on Saaremaa, Estonia. All samples yielding this species derive from strata formed in proximal carbonate platform environments. The temporal and geographical distribution indicates that it first appeared in Gotland and subsequently spread north-eastwards to the present-day Saaremaa. Kingnites diamondi adds to the list of known members of the Paulinitidae and reinforces the importance of this family, in terms of abundance and diversity, in Silurian polychaete faunas of Baltica. This is the biggest paulinitid recorded from the Silurian with an inferred body length of approximately half a metre and its diagnostic jaws may serve as a proxy for shallow water, backreef (marginal marine to lagoonal) environments.”

SCIENCE IS METAL (sometimes)!

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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