A team of metal-loving Scandinavian palaeontologists have named a newly-discovered 469 million years old fossil after Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.
The new species of conodonts - Drepanoistodus Iommii - was discovered by a Danish/Swedish team in western Russia. Team leader Mats E. Eriksson says, “I personally have quite an extensive track record of combining my science of palaeontology with heavy music (manifested through fossils named after Lemmy Kilmister, Alex Webster and King Diamond, but also through the travelling exhibition Rock Fossils, popular science books, and even 'paleo metal' records), so it came easy to me.
"Tony Iommi has been high on my list of people I wanted to honour this way. To my great pleasure, both my fellow co-authors loved the suggestion. So, now Tony Iommi is also immortalised in the scientific literature with the gorgeous species Drepanoistodus Iommii.”
“I commissioned legendary 'heavy metal painter' Joe Petagno — whom I have been working with several times over the last few years — to make a majestic, honorary painting. I love the piece that Joe affectionately refers to as ‘Tony Iommi conjuring an otherworldly gargantuan conodont.’”
Fellow palaeontologist Anders Lindskog adds: "The rocks we sampled at a steep Russian river bluff might not look like much to the naked eye, but they have turned out to be a treasure trove for us fossil aficionados."
Meanwhile living, breathing metal legend Iommi is one of the guitarists contributing to the forthcoming Ozzy Osbourne album, alongside Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.