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Newly discovered Temburong snail species named after Greta Thunberg

Craspedotropis gretathunbergae. PHOTO: PIERRE ESCOUBAS

BY Aziz Idris

Seventeen-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg garnered worldwide fame and a Nobel Prize nomination for her fight against the effects of climate change.

That fight also earned Greta something else – a namesake for a newly identified species of micro snail species found in the Temburong District.

According to a study published in Biodiversity Data Journal, the new species – Craspedotropis gretathunbergae – is approximately two mm long and one mm wide with grey tentacles and a concave shell. The snails were found near the riverbanks of Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre (KBFSC) in Temburong District by a group of international researchers along with local officials from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

Citizen scientist J P Lim found the first Greta Thunberg snail. “Naming this snail after Ms Thunberg is our way of acknowledging that her generation will be responsible for fixing problems that they did not create. And it’s a promise that people from all generations will join her to help,” he said.

He was part of a group comprising citizen scientists working together with scientists from Taxon Expeditions, a Dutch-based company that organises scientific expeditions in remote areas around the world. Snail expert and co-founder of Taxon Expeditions Dr Menno Schilthuizen stated in a press release, “The newly described snail belongs to the so-called caenogastropods, a group of land snails known to be sensitive to drought, extreme temperatures and forest degradation.”

The snails were found close to the research field station at the foot of a steep hill-slope, next to a river bank, while foraging at night on the green leaves of under storey plants, he added.

The name of the species was decided after the group along with local staff conducted a vote. Via a mutual contact, the expedition team approached Thunberg who said that she would be “delighted” to have this species named after her.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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