Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

Worm-like creature that buries its head in the sand named after Donald Trump

The newly discovered amphibian was named 'Dermophis donaldtrumpi' in recognition of the US president's climate change denial

EnviroBuild paid for the right to name an amphibian after Donald Trump – and added some of the US president's features to this image. Courtesy EnviroBuild
EnviroBuild paid for the right to name an amphibian after Donald Trump – and added some of the US president's features to this image. Courtesy EnviroBuild

It doesn’t matter how many reports are published on the harmful effects of climate change, none of them seems to have any impact on Donald Trump. But perhaps a recently discovered 10-centimetre amphibian will embarrass the US president into taking action.

The slippery little thing, which is blind and likes to bury its head in the ground, was recently discovered in the rainforests of Panama and has been officially named Dermophis donaldtrumpi, in recognition of Mr Trump’s refusal to address climate change.

Aidan Bell, co-founder of EnviroBuild, a sustainable building company, paid $25,000 (Dh92,000) at auction for the right to name the amphibian.

The 10-centimetre amphibian 'Dermophis donaldtrumpi'. Courtesy: Rainforest Trust UK
The 10cm-long amphibian 'Dermophis donaldtrumpi'

“It is the perfect name,” said Mr Bell. “Caecilian [the group of amphibians the creature belongs to] is taken from the Latin 'caecus', meaning 'blind', perfectly mirroring the strategic vision President Trump has consistently shown towards climate change.

“Burrowing [his] head underground helps Trump when avoiding scientific consensus on anthropomorphic climate change […] Dermophis donaldtrumpi 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.”

Chris Redston, of Rainforest Trust UK, said: “Protecting the world's remaining rainforests is now acknowledged as one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change, yet every day nearly 70,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed forever.

“This is not only one of the main causes of climate change, but it is also having a devastating impact on endangered wildlife, indigenous communities and the planet’s weather patterns.”

When confronted in November by a US government report showing how climate change is damaging the lives of Americans, Mr Trump responded: “I don’t believe it.”

Mr Trump, who has doggedly pursued a pro-fossil fuels agenda, also announced last year that he will pull the US from the Paris climate change agreement.

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Updated: December 19, 2018 02:15 PM

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