Researchers at a university in Romania have named Simona Halep a newly discovered species of insect on the Black Sea coast, where the athlete is originally from. Undoubtedly a unique tribute, but one that is not unprecedented in sport.
“The species is dedicated to the famous tennis player Simona Halep, born in the same region as the type locality,” the scientists pointed out, referring to the place where the species was identified, in the article announcing the discovery of Phlebotomus simonahalepae. Sandflies, or sand gnats, are blood-sucking insects and transmit leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease that can affect both dogs and humans.
As explained by Andrei Mihcalca, coordinator of the study, the idea of the name came to him due to the proximity between the place where the species was discovered and the area of the coastal province of Constanza, in southeastern Romania, where the athlete was born. “We dedicate this scientific discovery to Simona Halep, as a tribute and a sign of appreciation for her performances and for how she bears the Romanian name all over the world,” he declared to the publication of his country G4Media.
The 29-year-old tennis player, who has agreed to give her name to the species, currently occupies the 14th position in the WTA ranking, and has a Roland Garros (2018) and a Wimbledon (2019) to her credit. Although it sounds curious, his case is not unique.
Last month a group of Spanish paleontologists found in Burgos, Spain, footprints of a species of dinosaur never seen before. The surprise of this group of experts investigating some rocky outcrops in the area was such that they took advantage of their discovery to honor one of their idols: Andrés Iniesta.
It is that the animal described as a four-legged, herbivorous, long-necked, with a tail and four claws (instead of three as is common in this species), also had two fingers directed forward and, judging by its fossil footprints, the pseudopod took “a few steps firm, elegant, graceful, well marked of a dinosaur with a peaceful character ”. That is how they decided to call it Iniestapodus burgensis (Pie de Iniesta Burgensis).
The 37-year-old midfielder is also joined by other cases of dinosaurs named after celebrities such as Demandasaurus darwini, in honor of scientist Charles Darwin, and Europatitan eastwoodi, named for actor and film director Clint Eastwood. (Infobae)