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Rare Fossil ‘Looks Like Cartoon Thatcher’ – Yahoo!

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A just-discovered pointy-headed prehistoric flying reptile has been named after a famous cartoonist – because it reminded scientists of his drawing of Baroness Thatcher.

Gerald Scarfe has said he is “thrilled and flattered” the pterosaur has been named Cuspicephalus scarfi in his honour.

The fossil, discovered by a University of Portsmouth paleontologist, has an unusually long pointed head reminiscent of Mr Scarfe’s image of the former prime minister as a “Torydactyl”.

It was found by collector Steve Etches in Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, and identified by Dr David Martill .

Mr Scarfe said: “I’m thrilled and flattered – I never thought Mrs Thatcher would do anything for me – even if it is to be immortalised as a 155-million-year-old fossil.

“I have spent many holidays in Kimmeridge and to think my namesake was buried beneath my feet is wonderfully bizarre.”

Dr Martill said he did not ask the satirical artist if he could use his name as Mr Scarfe does not ask politicians’ permission before he lampoons them.

“This discovery is unique because pterosaur remains are so rare in the late Jurassic period in the UK and the skull is extraordinarily slender,” he said.

“It is also remarkable to find such a complete skull, allowing us to identify the species more easily.

“I’ve always been a fan of Gerald Scarfe because he’s so cruelly funny.

via Rare Fossil ‘Looks Like Cartoon Thatcher’ – Yahoo!.

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Written by edparnell

November 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

Posted in Funny, History

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