Surprise surprise: scientists are huge nerds. Just like there’s a gene named after Sonic the Hedgehog, there’s a real life bandicoot named after video game protagonist Crash Bandicoot. It may be 15 million years old and super extinct, but that doesn’t make it any less cool, right?
The specimen was found a few years ago in Queensland at the Riversleigh World Heritage site, with the research eventually being published in 2014.
The new 15 million-year-old bandicoot was older than previously known relatives of modern bandicoots by around 10 million years, pushing back the known history of the species dramatically.
The University of Queensland article on the discovery explains how this inspired its name – as the bandicoot ‘crashed’ into a time period where it wasn’t expected, therefore becoming ‘Crash bandicoot’.
Of course, we all know the real reason for the name. What’s most impressive about this nerdy name to me, however, is that it’s not just a nickname scientists have given the specimen – it’s the proper scientific name. I can’t wait to see that one popping up in textbooks.