'Nastiest' Jurassic crocodile named after Motorhead's Lemmy

By Daniel Uria  |  Aug. 11, 2017 at 10:41 AM
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Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Scientists named a newly recategorized Jurassic sea-crocodile after Motorhead frontman Lemmy.

The Lemmysuchus obtusidens was a giant 19-foot long crocodile that was considered one of the "biggest coastal predators of its time," using its broad snout and large blunt teeth to crush shelled prey in a way that Lorna Steel, curator of London's Natural History Museum, believed would have delighted Lemmy.

"Although Lemmy passed away at the end of 2015 we'd like to think that he would have raised a glass to Lemmysuchus, one of the nastiest sea creatures to have ever inhabited the Earth," Steel said.

The Lemmysuchus, or Lemmy's crocodile, was originally improperly categorized along with remains of other sea crocodiles found in the area, but as scientists uncovered more about the species Steel saw an opportunity to pay respects to the Motorhead rocker.

"I've always been into heavy rock, and Motorhead are one of my favorite bands and since Lemmy died I have been keen to name something after him," she said. "I had found a small crocodile in Morocco and thought that would have to do, but then this one emerged and I thought 'Oh My God!' this is the nastiest, meanest, biggest sea-crocodile there was. So it was perfect."

The Lemmysuchus lived during the Middle Jurassic Period around 164 million years ago and was part of an extinct group of marine crocodiles known as teleosaurs.

"Sea crocs are extinct now, but they were once a massive group of their time and were dominant in the Middle Jurassic," Steel said. "You wouldn't have wanted to come across one. They were far bigger than today's crocodiles. These things were massive, with armoured plates on their back and belly."

Lemmy, born Ian Fraser Kilmister died on Dec. 28, 2015, at the age of 70 after a battle with "extremely aggressive cancer."

Early in 2016, fans of the hard rocker petitioned to have a newly discovered heavy metal element named "Lemmium" after the man who "basically invented heavy metal."

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