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Discover the new species of centipede named after Taylor Swift Kids News Article

By on May 6, 2022 0
A newly discovered species of millipede has been named Nannaria swiftae, in honor of TAylor Swift (Credit: Derek Hennen and..all

Taylor Swift received many music awards and even an Emmy. Now the popular American singer-songwriter can add an unusual twist success to its growing list of honors – a new species of millipede named after him. the Nannaria Swiftae, it is one of 17 new species of twist-clawed millipedes recently identified by Dr. Derek Hennen and his team at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

I’m a huge fan of his music, so I wanted to show my appreciation giving its name to this new species from Tennessee. A great honor!” Hennen tweeted.

The discovery was part of a larger research project to sequence the DNA of species in the genus Nannaria. Millipedes, commonly called twist-clawed millipedes because of their deformed and flat front claws, were among 1,835 millipede specimens found during the multi-year search across 13 states in the biodiverse Appalachian region.. While some of the newly revealed species had already been collected, they remained unidentified until the recent study, published in the journal Zoo Keys April 15, 2022.

The team collected and analyzed 1,835 centipede specimens for their study. (Credit: Derek Hennen et..all)

the N.Swiftae has reddish-orange spots and a maroon-brown body and distinctive bumps on its legs. Hennen said the creepy creepy “handsome” belongs to a group called cherry centipedes that release a chemical defense against predators that smell like cherry or almond. “It’s a powerful defense against predators, but it’s harmless to humans,” he added.

Considering the centipede species was only found in Tennessee — where Swift began her career as a country singer — naming it after the artist made perfect sense. “For a scientist to name a species after someone is supposed to be an honor, so I hope she views it positively.” Hennan said.

The scientist paid a similar honor to his wife Marian by naming another species N. marianae. The other new species were named after plants or the area near where the specimens had been found.

Hennan named another new species after his wife Marian. (Hennen et..all)

Although they may seem scary to some, centipedes are essential to the ecosystem. They consume decaying plant matter and enrich the soil. Burrowers, who spend most of their lives underground, are harmless creatures that do not bite or hurt large animals. When seriously threatened, they secrete toxins from their bodies to deter but not kill a potential predator

Swift isn’t the first celebrity to have an animal named after her. In 2020, a new species of poisonous snake found in the Gulf of Guinea was named Atheris hetfieldi, in honor of the lead singer of the rock band Metallica, James Hetfield. Earlier that year, flamboyant American music performer Lady Gaga received a similar honor in the form of a new species of leafhopper insect dubbed kakaia gaga,

Resources: zookeys.pensoft.net, npr.org, livescience.com