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Fossil of 'scissor-hand' creature named to honor actor Johnny Depp

May 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM   |   Comments

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LONDON, May 16 (UPI) -- A British scientist who discovered an ancient extinct creature with 'scissor hand-like' claws says he named it in honor of his favorite movie star, Johnny Depp.

The 505-million-year-old fossil Kooteninchela deppi, a distant ancestor of lobsters and scorpions, was named after the star of "Edward Scissorhands," a movie about an artificial man named Edward, an unfinished creation who has scissors for hands.

"When I first saw the pair of isolated claws in the fossil records of this species I could not help but think of Edward Scissorhands," said David Legg, who carried out the research as part of his doctoral studies at Imperial College London.

"Even the genus name, Kootenichela, includes the reference to this film as 'chela' is Latin for claws or scissors," he said in a release from the college Thursday.

Legg said he believes Kooteninchela deppi, which lived in shallow seas off the coast of British Columbia, would have been a hunter or scavenger, using its Edward Scissorhands-like claws to capture prey or probe the sea floor looking for sea creatures hiding in sediment.

It belonged to a group known as the "great-appendage" arthropods, an early relation of modern arthropods that include spiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, insects and crabs.

Topics: Johnny Depp
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