QuickCheck: Is it true that a snake was named after Harrison Ford?

"Snakes...why'd it have to be snakes?"

"Snakes...why'd it have to be snakes?" That's what the main character Indiana Jones of Raiders of the Lost Ark (and anyone with ophidiophobia) uttered when encountering a snake.

While Dr Jones isn't a fan of this slippery reptile, is it true that there is a snake named after the actor who played this fictional character?



Yes, scientists working in Peru have named a new species of snake after Ford in honour of the actor's support for conservation work.

The snake has been given the scientific name Tachymenoides harrisonfordi. (You see what the scientists did there?) Tachymenoides harrisonfordi was discovered in the jungle mountains of Otishi National Park in Peru in 2022. - AFP PHOTOTachymenoides harrisonfordi was discovered in the jungle mountains of Otishi National Park in Peru in 2022. - AFP PHOTO

The 40cm reptile was first discovered in May 2022 in the jungle mountains of Otishi National Park in Peru. It is yellowish-brown in colour, with black spots, and has a black belly with copper-coloured eyes.

US-German biologist Edgar Lehr, who was part of the team that discovered the snake, said the creature was named after Ford because he is active in environmental issues.

"I found out that Harrison Ford agreed to have his name used via a consultation that Conservation International (an NGO) made", he was reported saying.

Lehr added that the snake was discovered in an area that is only accessible by helicopter.

Meanwhile, Ford was quoted saying that, "These scientists keep naming critters after me, but it's always the ones that terrify children."

He also told EW, "In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling. It's a reminder that there's still so much to learn about our wild world — and that humans are one small part of an impossibly vast biosphere.

"On this planet, all fates are intertwined, and right now, one million species are teetering on the edge of oblivion. We have an existential mandate to mend our broken relationship with nature and protect the places that sustain life."

Perhaps this bit of information may not cure the fear or hate some have for snakes, but at least you've learned something today.

And here's something else you can learn - if you ever encounter a snake in your home, read this (https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/05/22/dont-act-wait-for-snake-catchers)

Fire and Rescue Department had received 13,895 distress calls from the public seeking help to remove snakes and other wildlife from their premises in the first four months of 2023.

The figure shows an increasing trend, compared to 12,013 calls received in the same period last year.


1. https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/entertainment/2023/08/23/new-species-of-snake-found-in-peru-named-after-harrison-ford

2. https://ew.com/movies/new-snake-species-named-after-harrison-ford/

3. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/05/22/dont-act-wait-for-snake-catchers

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