469-Million-Year-Old Fossil Named After Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi
Nightwish, The Ocean, Between the Buried and Me, Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster, Gojira and The Ocean. All of these metal bands have had ancient but newly discovered species given names in their honor by scientists in recent years.
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi can now add himself to that list. Drepanoistodus Iommii, a newly discovered 469-million-year-old species of conodont (extinct agnathan vertebrates resembling eels), has been named in his honor.
As is customary in the field of paleontology, the scientists who discover it get to give it an official Latin name. And the Swedish/Danish team of paleontologists who found this one just happen to be a metalheads.
Says the man himself, Mats E. Eriksson:
“I personally have quite an extensive track record of combining my science of palaeontology with heavy music (manifested through fossils named after Lemmy Kilmister, Alex Webster and King Diamond, but also through the travelling exhibition Rock Fossils, popular science books, and even ‘paleo metal’ records), so it came easy to me.
“Tony Iommi has been high on my list of people I wanted to honor this way. To my great pleasure, both my fellow co-authors loved the suggestion. So, now Tony Iommi is also immortalized in the scientific literature with the gorgeous species Drepanoistodus Iommii.”
The fossil was recovered from a succession of limestone in western Russia, rocks that once formed the sea floor sediments during the Ordovician Period.
Anders Lindskog, another paleontologist involved with the discovery, commissioned legendary ‘heavy metal painter’ Joe Petagno (Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, Sodom, etc.) to render up a dramatic interpretation of the fossil. Check that out below along with an actual photo of the recovered fossil. Behold: