A group of Danish/Swedish paleontologists have discovered a new species of conodonts. The 469 million-year-old fossil was found in Russia and the scientists have decided to name it after legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.
Blabbermouth shared more information on the discovery:
“The fossil is around 469 million years old and was recovered from a succession of limestone in western Russia, rocks that once formed the sea floor sediments during the Ordovician Period. Because the species proved to be new to science, it had to be formally baptized with a unique Latin moniker. As all study authors are passionate hobby musicians and have long love affairs with the history of heavy rock music, they decided to honor one of heavy metal’s true pioneers — guitar legend Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.”
Paleontologist Mats E. Eriksson said the following:
“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.”
“I commissioned legendary ‘heavy metal painter’ Joe Petagno — whom I have been working with several times over the last few years — to make a majestic, honorary painting. I love the piece that Joe affectionately refers to as ‘Tony Iommi conjuring an otherworldly gargantuan conodont.'”
Conodont specialist Jan Audun Rasmussen also commented:
“Drepanoistodus Iommii is indeed excellently preserved, belongs to a complex group of conodonts, and has great potential as a time marker (so-called biostratigraphy).”
Anders Lindskog added:
“The rocks we sampled at a steep Russian river bluff might not look like much to the naked eye, but they have turned out to be a treasure trove for us fossil aficionados.”
You can read a scientific article focusing on three new species HERE.