Actor Harrison Ford, known for his role as Indiana Jones, has just received a strange tribute: a new species of snake discovered in Peru bears his name. He reacted with humor to the distinction, while joking that the creatures named after him are often associated with scary images for children.
Harrison Ford’s association with the newly discovered snake might seem unexpected, but it’s the result of a move to shine a light on the actor’s environmental conservation work. The latter, as vice-president of Conservation International, devoted decades to the defense of nature.
Tachymenoides harrisonfordi is a snake that is about 40 cm long. Harmless to humans, it is yellowish brown in color with black markings and a black belly. It belongs to the Colubridae family, the largest family of snakes in the world. It lives in humid mountain forests.
This new species of snake was identified in May 2022, in Otishi National Park, an area located in the heart of the valley of the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro (VRAEM) rivers, an area notorious for coca production and drug trafficking. in Peru. The discovery expedition was led by Professor Edgar Lehr of Illinois Wesleyan University, who highlighted the difficulties his team faced, including monitoring drug traffickers.
Beyond the symbolic gesture, the appointment of Tachymenoides harrisonfordi recalls the crucial importance of exploring new species for the preservation of biodiversity. Otishi National Park, due to its remoteness and complex topography, remains largely unexplored scientifically. According to Lehr, the discovery also serves as a reminder of the importance of raising awareness about field research and the need for funding to support such initiatives.
As a reminder, a new species of snake has been named in tribute to Leonardo DiCaprio.