July 10, 2012
"President Barack Obama has one. Comedian Stephen Colbert has one. Elvis Presley has one. Even computer software magnate Bill Gates has one. And now, Bob Marley–the late popular Jamaican singer and guitarist–also has one. So what is it that each of these luminaries have? The answer: they each have a biological species that has been named after them.
Paul Sikkel, an assistant professor of marine ecology and a field marine biologist at Arkansas State University, discovered and just named after Marley a “gnathiid isopod”–a small parasitic crustacean blood feeder that infests certain fish that inhabit the coral reefs of the shallow eastern Caribbean. Sikkel named the species Gnathia marleyi.
All of the life stages of Gnathia marleyi are described by Sikkel and his research team in the June 6th issue of Zootaxia. This research was partly funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Sikkel said, “I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley’s music. Plus, this species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley."
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