It appears that biologists and researchers are starting to catch on that naming newly discovered species after celebrities and other pop culture references gains them a certain level of media coverage. In the past year alone we've had new species named after Bob Marley, President Obama, Richard Dawkins, David Hasselhoff, and, more recently, even a catchphrase from the hit comedy series "The Big Bang Theory."
U2 frontman Bono and actress Angelina Jolie are the latest to be immortalized, this time as new species of trapdoor spider. Biologist Jason Bond, who has a thing for honoring celebs with his research, discovered 33 new species of trapdoor spider - with three of them found in the Mojave Desert landscape that gave its name to U2's 1987 album, "The Joshua Tree." The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that Bond named two of the Joshua Tree spiders after Indian tribes and one, A. bonoi, after Bono. Angelina Jolie was named for one of the other 30 with Aptostichus angelinajolieae.
Bond has previously named spider species after notables such as Stephen Colbert, Cesar Chazez, magician Penn Jillette, and the Sarlacc sand creature from "Star Wars." He tells the Riverside Press that while discoveries of new life forms is always exciting, time is running out for us to document many of them due to human development.
“We’ve been describing things for 250 years, almost two million species. There’s seven to 15 times as many species out there left to describe,” he said.