Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Springtail and the Senator

At the dedication of the new Twin Creeks Science and Education Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the facility's Congressional patron, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, was honored in an unusual way. Earnest Bernard, the chair of Discover Life in America, which is coordinating the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), announced a newly found insect species from the park had been named the Lamar Alexander springtail, or Cosberella lamaralexanderi. Not only did Alexander secure funding for the center, but the new bug has a checkered color pattern somewhat resembling Alexander's political trademark, the plaid shirts he wore when campaigning. Alexander was appreciative, saying: "It is a pretty cute bug."

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