Blind species of amphibian named after Donald Trump for burying head in sand

Money from the naming auction for the animal went towards efforts to conserve the species.


A blind species of amphibian rather fond of burrowing its head under the ground was named Dermophis donaldtrumpi after its discovery, honouring the US president’s legacy of climate change denial.

The rights to name the species were auctioned off by the Rainforest Trust for $25,000. The rights were bought by EnviroBuild, a sustainable building materials company, whose owner Aidan Bell decided to name the newly-discovered species after US President Donald Trump.

The aim was to raise awareness about Trump’s policies on climate change and the danger they pose to species like the Dermophis species going extinct.

Being an amphibian that could survive on both land and water, and the shiny animal is particularly susceptible to the impacts of global warming and in danger of going extinct from its namesake’s climate policies, the Rainforest Trust told The Guardian.

Blind species of amphibian named after Donald Trump for burying head in sand

The amphibian tries on Donald Trump’s hair in a digital mock-up. Image courtesy: EnviroBuild

“It is the perfect name,” Bell told The Guardian. "Caecilian is taken from the Latin caecus, meaning ‘blind’, which perfectly expressed the strategic vision President Trump has consistently shown towards climate change.”

For his distinctive hair, Trump has already been compared to many creatures like the furry caterpillar and golden-plumed pheasant.

In fact, this is not the first but the third species named after him. Neopalpa donaldtrumpi is a moth with distinct while scales that cover the adult animal’s head, and Tetragramma donaldtrumpi, a species of sea urchin, are the unlucky ones.

America is facing multiple environmental threats from climate change, particularly wildfires and floods that are expected to get much worse. To the US government’s report in November citing evidence to the fact, Trump’s response was, “I don’t believe it.”

Bell said Donald Trump’s approach to global warming mirrored the small, legless marine creature burying its head in the ground.

The money raised from selling the naming rights of Dermophis donaldtrumpi and 11 other went towards conservation efforts for habitats of these species.