A blind amphibian which burrows underground has been named after Donald Trump in reference to his comments over climate change.
The newly discovered worm-like creature will be called Dermophis donaldtrumpi, after a sustainable building company paid £19,700 in an auction by the Rainforest Trust UK for the honour of naming it.
Aiden Bell, co-founder of London-based EnviroBuild, said the chance to name a species after the US president “was too good an opportunity to miss”.
The creature is a type of caecilian, with caecus meaning “blind” in Latin, and is only able to detect light or dark.
Mr Bell said it is appropriate because Mr Trump can only see the world in black and white and has claimed in the past that climate change is a hoax by the Chinese.
The Dermophis grows an extra layer of skin which their young peel off and eat – known as dermatrophy – which Mr Bell has likened to Mr Trump handing some of his children White House positions.
Because the amphibians live almost entirely underground, Mr Bell said the creature was like Mr Trump who has avoided scientific consensus on climate change and handed energy lobbyists jobs with the US environment agency.
He also said that because the Demorphis donaldtrumpi is an amphibian, it is “particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and is therefore in danger of becoming extinct as a direct result of its namesake’s climate policies”.
Mr Trump has recently said he no longer believes climate change is a hoax, but added: “I don’t think it’s man-made”.
Speaking on CBS’s 60 Minutes in October, the president added: “I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again.”
Mr Trump has also announced that the US would pull out of the Paris climate agreement.
Mr Bell said: “The opportunity to name a species is usually reserved for biologists who spend often painstaking years in the field so was too good an opportunity to miss.
“The name will still have to undergo peer review, something that biologists EnviroBuild have spoken to had stressed the importance of, but multiple species are named after Presidents, and this amphibian will soon join the vulnerable list.
“EnviroBuild is not an overtly political organisation, but we do feel very strongly that everyone should do everything they can to leave the world in a better way than they found it.”