Newly Discovered Lizard Species Named After Iron Maiden Frontman Bruce Dickinson

Rock on! Researchers chose to honor Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, deciding to name a discovered species of lizards after the singer. According to, researchers chose to name the lizards after the singer due to his conservation efforts.

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The researchers explained, “In 2016, he flew a loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, that washed up on a Jersey beach to the Canary Islands in his private plane, thus contributing to the awareness and protection of this vulnerable species. We also highlight that Iron Maiden is a popular band among taxonomists and museum curators who appreciate rock music.”

Researchers named the lizards Enyalioides dickinsoni. They found the species in the Cordillera de Colán mountain range, which is located in Peru. They’re found 4,600 to 5,600 feet. The species of the lizard lives on a diet of coffee crops, citrus, and also cacao.

Researchers Name Lizards After Bruce Dickinson

Researchers explained their decision to name the lizards after Dickinson to Latin American Post. They wrote, “[It] is a testament to the enduring influence of cultural figures on scientific discovery. It’s a reminder of the interconnectedness of our world, where the legacy of a heavy metal icon can extend into the realms of environmental conservation and scientific research. This discovery not only enriches our understanding of the biodiversity of the Amazon but also celebrates the multifaceted contributions of individuals like Dickinson to global culture and awareness.”

It turns out that naming animals after Dickinson has happened before. Biologist Christina Rheims previously named a huntsman spider species after the singer. Called Extraordinarius bruceinkinsoni, the spiders call Central and South America their home.

With scientists discovering 17,000 to 24,000 animal species every year, they have to get creative with their names. While often researchers will base the names around features, sometimes they also choose to name the animals after popular figures. For instance, other musicians such as Lemmy, METALLICA, and Freddie Mercury also share this honor as well. It’s often been used as a way to raise public awareness about certain species.

The father of taxonomy Carl Linnaeus started the practice. He wanted to help attract rich donors to donate to his studies. So if you come across the lizards in Peru, then you should know that they’re rockers at heart. So far Dickinson hasn’t released a comment about the honor.

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