Greta Thunberg Has New Species Of Beetle Named After Her By Scientists
It's not every day you can brag about being named after a new species of beetle. Well, unless you're Greta Thunberg that is.
The 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, who shot to fame after addressing political leaders around the world, has gained this unique honour to mark her 'outstanding contribution' to raising awareness of climate change.
The newly described Nalloptodes gretae belongs to a group of some of the smallest known free-living animals They have no eyes, no wings, and are just 1mm long.
But they do have long antennae on their heads which resemble pigtails like those the campaigner has been seen to wear.
Michael Darby, a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum, said: "These beetles are so very small that my wife has described them as being like animated full stops.
"But actually many are a whole lot smaller than a full stop. I'd also like to stress that I've not named this species after Greta because it is small - it's just that this is the group that I work on.
Michael has named several species of Ptiliidae after prominent people, including one for Sir David Attenborough, meaning that 'Nalloptodes gretae' is certainly in prestigious company.
Michael went on to say: "I suspect that this could very well be the first time a species has been named after Greta. I don't know of any other beetle named after her, that's for sure.
"I'm really a great fan of Greta. She is a great advocate for saving the planet and she is amazing at doing it, so I thought that this was a good opportunity to recognise that."
He told the MailOnline: "I chose this name as I am immensely impressed with the work of this young campaigner. And I wanted to acknowledge her outstanding contribution in raising awareness of environmental issues."
Dr Max Barclay, senior curator in charge of Coleoptera at the Natural History Museum, said: "The name of this beetle is particularly poignant since it is likely that undiscovered species are being lost all the time, before scientists have even named them.
"So it is appropriate to name one of the newest discoveries after someone who has worked so hard to champion the natural world and protect vulnerable species."
Greta made waves following her UN speech where she urged leaders to do more than they're currently doing to cut emissions because at this rate it's still only going to have a 50 per cent chance of limiting the global temperature by 0.4 of a degree Celsius.
There was promise from a 66 countries to do more to stop the advances of climate change and 30 committed to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Featured Image Credit: Natural History Museum