Blind amphibian named after Donald Trump

Dermophis donaldtrumpi: Blind amphibian which burrows named after Donald Trump [Photo: Sky News]
Dermophis donaldtrumpi: Blind amphibian which burrows named after Donald Trump [Photo: Sky News]

A newly discovered animal that buries its head in the sand has been named after U.S. President Donald Trump, apparently in response to his comments about climate change.

The amphibian, Dermophis donaldtrumpi, which was discovered in Panama, was named by the head of a company that had bid $25,000 (£19,800) at auction for the privilege.

According to a report on CNN, the company said it wanted to raise awareness about climate change.

The co-founder of EnviroBuild, Aidan Bell, in a statement said as demorphis donaldtrumpi is an amphibian.

”It is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and is therefore in danger of becoming extinct as a direct result of its namesake’s climate policies.”

The animal is a caecilian — a limbless, burrowing amphibian — that spends most of its time underground.

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According to a statement from EnviroBuild, the creature lost its limbs around 60 million years ago but has tentacles that it uses to find prey.

“Realising the similarities between the amazing but previously unknown creature and the leader of the free world, we couldn’t resist buying the rights,” Mr Bell told CNN via email.

“As demorphis donaldtrumpi is an amphibian, it is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and is therefore in danger of becoming extinct as a direct result of its namesake’s climate policies,” Mr Bell said.

Mr Trump has long been known as a climate-change sceptic.

“Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax,” he tweeted in 2013, and his stance does not appear to have changed much since he became president.

In late November, Trump dismissed the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a U.S. government research report on climate science, because he didn’t agree with its findings.

“Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth,” says the report.

EnviroBuild paid $25,000 for the right to name the animal, which will soon be added to the vulnerable species list, at a December 8 auction to raise money for the Rainforest Trust.

The amphibian is not the first beast to be named after Donald Trump.

Last year, Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, was discovered by biologist Vazrick Nazari in a collection of moths from the Museum of Entomology, at the University of California.

The scientist said the moth’s unique head colouring reminded him of the president.

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