469 Million-Year-Old Fossil Named After Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi
A 469 million-year-old fossil of a newly discovered species of conodonts (extinct jawless vertebrates that closely resemble eels) has just been named after founding Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.
As reported by Blabbermouth, a team of Danish and Swedish paleontologists retrieved the fossil "from a succession of limestone in western Russia" which, during the Ordovician Period (a 45-million year period dating 488.3 million years back), formed sea floor sediments.
Mats E. Eriksson, one of the paleontologists on the mission, has an extensive background in naming newly discovered fossils after heavy metal legends, having already honored Motorhead leader Lemmy Kilmister, Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster and iconic falsetto singer King Diamond in the fossil record.
"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," said Eriksson of the latest discovery.
Jan Audun Rasmussen, who specializes in conodonts, enthused, "Drepanoistodus Iommii is indeed excellently preserved, belongs to a complex group of conodonts, and has great potential as a time marker (so-called biostratigraphy)."
"The rocks we sampled at a steep Russian river bluff might not look like much to the naked eye," added Anders Lindskog, "but they have turned out to be a treasure trove for us fossil aficionados."