The iconic Indiana Jones character may have a notorious fear of snakes, but the real-life actor behind the role, Harrison Ford, has been bestowed with a unique and unexpected honor.
A recently discovered snake species in Peru has been christened Tachymenoides Harrisonfordi in homage to the actor’s profound commitment to environmental conservation.
Harrison Ford’s Environmental Advocacy
As the vice chair of the non-profit organization Conservation International, Ford’s advocacy for environmental causes has earned him recognition and respect beyond his legendary Hollywood status.
This latest tribute joins a roster of other critters named after him, including an ant and a spider.
The naming of the Tachymenoides harrisonfordi species was met with a mix of humility and humor from Ford.
Unlike his cinematic alter ego, Ford has consistently affirmed his affinity for snakes, a sentiment that aligns with the reptilian namesake.
Describing the snake’s appearance, he humorously noted, “The snake’s got eyes you can drown in, and he spends most of the day sunning himself by a pool of dirty water — we probably would’ve been friends in the early ’60s.”
The discovery of Tachymenoides harrisonfordi was the result of collaborative efforts between researchers from Peru and the United States, and it occurred within Peru’s Otishi National Park.
The newly identified snake species is characterized by its slender form, reaching a modest length of 16 inches (40.6 cm) upon full maturity. Crucially, it poses no threat to humans.
Edgar Lehr, the lead scientist behind the project, emphasized the importance of documenting and naming new species during the ongoing biodiversity crisis.
Global Species Extinction Crisis
The naming of this snake species not only celebrates Harrison Ford’s commitment to environmental stewardship but also aims to raise awareness about the global crisis of species extinction.
The discovery of Tachymenoides harrisonfordi serves as a poignant reminder of the critical status faced by numerous species worldwide, particularly reptiles.
Conservation International researchers revealed that over a fifth of all reptiles are currently under threat of extinction.
This isn’t the first time that a species has been named after Ford. In 1993, the Calponia harrisonfordi, a California spider, received the honor, and later, an ant was named Pheidole harrisonfordi in recognition of his dedication to conservation.
Amid the ongoing challenges of biodiversity loss and environmental degradation, the acknowledgment of Harrison Ford’s advocacy serves as an encouraging reminder of the impact that individuals can have in protecting the Earth’s natural wonders.