Harrison Ford has the best response after newly-discovered species of snake is named after him

Harrison Ford is one of the most beloved and famous movie stars of all time, thanks to classic movie franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. At 81, he’s been the recipient of many awards and lifetime achievement honors.

But this week, Ford got an unexpected honor after a new species of snake was named after him — and he had the best response.

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According to a press release from Conservation International, researchers discovered a new species of snake in the Andes mountains in Peru.

The snake measures 16 inches long is described as pale yellowish-brown with scattered black blotches, which allow it to camouflage well into its habitat.


The snake’s name? Tachymenoides harrisonfordi, named after the Hollywood legend.

It’s no surprise that Conservation International would want to name one of their discovered creatures after Ford: the Blade Runner star is vice chair of the non-profit group. He spoke on their behalf at the IUCN Congress and voiced “The Ocean” in the group’s Nature is Speaking campaign.

And naming a snake after Ford also doubles as a joke for film fans: Ford’s most famous character Indiana Jones is famously afraid of snakes.

Ford doesn’t share his character’s ophidiophobia, but in response to the honor he couldn’t help but wonder why it’s always such fear-inducing creatures that get named after him when he’s such a laid-back guy:

“These scientists keep naming critters after me, but it’s always the ones that terrify children,” Ford said. “I don’t understand. I spend my free time cross-stitching. I sing lullabies to my basil plants, so they won’t fear the night.”

According to Conservation International, this is the third animal named after Ford: he previously lent his name to a species of ant (Pheidole harrisonfordi) and spider (Calponia harrisonfordi), though this is the first reptile.

But Ford also called the honor “humbling” and highlighted how important the discovery was. “It’s a reminder that there’s still so much to learn about our wild world — and that humans are one small part of an impossibly vast biosphere,” Ford said.

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The Tachymenoides harrisonfordi was found in one of the most remote least-explored areas of Peru: scientific explorations are rare and difficult, but it’s important to do biodiversity research of reptile species.

“On this planet, all fates are intertwined, and right now, one million species are teetering on the edge of oblivion. We have an existential mandate to mend our broken relationship with nature and protect the places that sustain life.”

Naming a new species after a Hollywood celebrity may seem trivial to some, but it actually serves an important role in helping to publicize this important research.

“Too often, reptile conservation can be overlooked – most people likely don’t find snakes as cute as a fluffy panda cub, but their role in the world’s ecosystems is just as important,” added Neil Cox, manager of the Conservation International-IUCN Biodiversity Assessment Unit.

“For a biologist, describing a new species and making it public with its new name is one of the most vital activities during the biodiversity crisis. I am honored that Mr. Ford accepted our dedication.”

Congrats to Conservation International on this amazing new discovery and to Harrison Ford on this unique honor! News like this really brings to light the inspiring work wildlife researchers do to protect reptile species.

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