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Parasite Named After Barack Obama

A brand new species of parasite, the Baracktrema obamai, has been named after President Barack Obama, according to an article in the Journal of Parasitology.

The co-author of the journal article on the parasite is Obama’s fifth cousin, Thomas R. Platt.

Platt, a retired biology professor who discovered and named the microscopic critter, told the Associated Press the parasite’s anatomy reminds him of the president: “It’s long. It’s thin. And it’s cool as hell.”

The two-inch-long, hair-thin creature has a “post-cecal terminal genitalia” and lives in the blood of two different types of turtles.

“The new genus further differs from all other accepted turtle blood fluke genera by having a cecum that is highly convoluted for its entire length, a spindle-shaped ovary between the cirrus sac and testis, a uterine pouch that loops around the primary vitelline collecting duct, a Laurer’s canal, and a dorsal common genital pore,” Platt and his team of researchers wrote.

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Journal of Parasitology

Platt has named 32 new species in his career. And, oddly enough, Obama’s name has been the inspiration behind a number other creatures including a trapdoor spider, a fish, and an ancient lizard named the “Obamadon.”

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.

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