Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Joe Strummer has deep sea snail named after him

Alviniconcha strummeri live beneath the surface of the ocean and apparently ‘look like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s’

Tuesday 16 December 2014 08.00 GMT

A species of deep sea snail with the bold, spiky aesthetic of early Clash fans has been named after Joe Strummer. Alviniconcha strummeri are golf ball-sized invertebrates that live around 2,000 metres beneath the surface of the ocean.

The Strummer-indebted snails are one of five new species identified in a paper that was published in the journal Systematics and Biodiversity. “Because they look like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s and have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon,” Shannon Johnson, a researcher at California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel (via Exclaim).

Only strummeri have been named after a musician: the other alviniconcha species get their monikers from things like research facilities and gastropod experts. “The name highlights the ‘hardcore’ nature of alviniconcha snails, that inhabit the hottest, most acidic and most sulphidic microhabitats at Indo-Pacific hydrothermal vents,” researchers wrote. “The name also recognises the surface of Alviniconcha shells: the spiky periostracum resembles the fashion of punk rock bands.”

Five New Species of Spiky Sea Snails Discovered, One Named after Joe Strummer

A group of marine biologists headed by Dr Robert Vrijenhoek from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has described five new species of deep water Alviniconcha snails from the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

Alviniconcha strummeri, a new species of deep-sea snail named after Joe Strummer of The Clash. Image credit: Shannon B. Johnson et al.

Snails in the genus Alviniconcha belong to the family Provannidae.

These deep-sea animals live in the hottest and most acidic waters near hydrothermal vents.

Because these snails live in these extreme conditions, they have severely degraded shells (size varies between 2.5-10 cm) covered in spikes or have no shells at all.

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