Metallica frontman James Hetfield has received an honour not many can top!
A new species of venomous snake has been named after him.
Atheris hetfieldi was discovered by a team of metal-loving scientists led by Dr Luis Ceriaco. The species of African Bush Viper which grows up to 52cm in length, lives at the base of a volcano on Bioko island in Equatorial Guinea and is characterised by “a triangular-shaped head and strongly-keeled scales, which gives them a dragon-like appearance, which certainly is consonant with the image of a singer of an Heavy Metal band.”
"Both me and Mariana Marques, the second author of the paper, are big fans of Metallica and James Hetfield since a very young age," said Dr. Ceriaco.
"We wanted to honor him, as a thank you for all the good vibes his music has transmitted to us during all of our personal lives and careers," the scientist continued, further explaining, "Also, we think that a mysterious venomous and cool looking snake, who lives in the base of a volcano lost in the middle of the tropical forest is very relatable to heavy metal! On another hand, naming a new species after someone as James brings more attention to the much needed biodiversity studies and field surveys. We are in race against the extinction of a large proportion of the world's biodiversity, and many species may go extinct before we even know they exist!"
Dr. Ceriaco said, "We only have to abide by certain terminological rules ruled by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature," and that, ultimately, the name is determined by the author of the peer-reviewed paper regarding the new discovery.