New Sea Slug Species Named After Khaleesi on Game of Thrones

Posted on January 19, 2014

A new species of sea slug, from the family Tritoniidae, was discovered late last month. It was named after Khaleesi (Daenerys Targaryen) from HBO's Game of Thrones series, which is based on George R. R. Martin's fantasy novels. Khaleesi is played by actress Emilia Clarke.

The nudibranch, Tritonia khaleesi, was found in the tropical South Atlantic Ocean off north-east Brazil. It has a slender white body and can reach to 12 mm long (about half an inch). Wired reports that the scientists were inspired by Khaleesi's hair when they came up with the name. Here's a video of two of the slugs. Take a look:

The researchers say T. khaleesi is distinguished from other tritoniids by "jaws with 10�14 rows of denticles on the inner lips, absence of stomach plates and the radular formula 32 � 2��5 teeth." The researchers also say it is the only Tritonia that possesses a unicuspid rachidian tooth as an adult.

A paper about the new species was published here in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

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