Syllipsimopodi bideni – that’s how the spectacular squid was named. The former sea dweller and the US President have one thing in common – their old age. Although Biden did not live like bidendi around 328 million years ago, he is also the oldest of his “species”: At 79 years old, Joe Biden is the oldest president ever to occupy the White House in history.
The comparison may seem a bit cheeky to some. In any case, the researchers at the American Museum of Natural History in New York justified the naming with the fact that they inspired Biden’s plans to combat anthropogenic climate change and his general stance that politicians should listen more to scientists to dedicate this discovery to him.
The special thing about the squid is not only its name, but also the number of its tentacles. As the name suggests, octopuses usually have eight arms, because “octo” is Greek for the number eight. However, Bidendi has two more of them. “This is the first and only known representative of the eight-armed squid to have ten functional appendages,” says researcher Christopher Whalen. “This fossil now provides the first concrete confirmation that these cephalopods originally had ten arms.”