The Straits Times
Published on Dec 12, 2012

Researchers name pre-historic lizard Obamadon after smiling president


(REUTERS) - Researchers have named a newly discovered, pre-historic lizard Obamadon gracilis in honour of the 44th United States (US) president's toothy grin.

The small, insect-eating lizard was first discovered in eastern Montana in 1974, but a recent re-examination showed the fossil had been wrongly classified as a Leptochamops denticulatus and was, in fact, a new species, researchers told Reuters on Tuesday.

Obamadon gracilis was one of nine newly discovered species reported on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In naming the new species, scientists from Yale and Harvard universities combined the Latin Obamadon for "Obama's teeth" and gracilis, which means slender.