A Brazilian biologist by the name of Christina Rheims has paid tribute to some of her favorite metal bands — Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Scorpions and Angra — to name four new species of spiders she's discovered. The eight-legged creatures are her specialty and, to date, she's named over 200 species so the time had come to give the honors to the musicians who inspire her on her creepy-crawly taxonomy quest.
"This is the kind of music I like and I usually listen to," she told The World before expounding on her choice concerning the four specific bands and their new namesakes in the genus Extraordinarius.
"I've always wanted to honor Rick Allen because I think he's an example," she enthused of Def Leppard's "Thunder God," who overcame the 1985 amputation of his left arm and continues to play with the band to this day. "You have a drummer that loses an arm, and he continues his career and he learns how to play with only one arm."
Rheims was moved to pay tribute to her metal heroes when former Angra frontman Andre Matos passed away last year at age 47. Her choice has pleased at least a few of the musicians involved, with the Scorpions themselves tweeting the seal of approval earlier today.
There's an international code that governs the naming of the new species, but a portion of the names is still subject to researcher creativity. The final full names of the Arachnids are: Extraordinarius bruceickinsoni, Extraordinarius klausmeinei, Extraordinarius rickalleni and Extraordinarius andrematosi. The spiders are one to two centimeters in length and, unlike the musicians' respective eardrum-busting performances, pose no threat to humans.