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Meet the beetle named after Greta Thunberg

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 7, 2019 - Duration: 01:54s

Meet the beetle named after Greta Thunberg

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg may have been tipped for the Nobel Peace Prize, but she has now been afforded perhaps the ultimate honour: having a beetle named after her.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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Meet the beetle named after Greta Thunberg

That was climate change activist Greta Thunberg's electrifying speech at the United Nations in September.

And this is Nelloptodes Gretae - a beetle that's just been named after her.

Part of Dr. Michael Darby's job at London's Natural History Museum is to attribute names to previously unidentified species.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SCIENTIFIC ASSOCIATE AT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, DR. MICHAEL DARBY, SAYING: "Well I was just amazed by how successful she's been in promoting interest in climate change and particularly in her speech to the United Nations.

I mean that was what sealed it to me.

I put her down as someone very special after hearing that.

It was quite extraordinary." The beetle - which has no eyes or wings and is less than 1mm long - has been unnamed for decades.

It was first discovered in Kenya in the 1960s and was donated to the Natural History Museum in 1978.

The museum's Senior Curator Dr. Max Barclay says the tribute to Thunberg sends an important message to generations to come.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR CURATOR IN CHARGE, COLEOPTERA AT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, DR. MAX BARCLAY, SAYING: "Well, there have been recent examples, I mean there's a fly that's been named after Beyonce, there is a spider recently named after David Bowie at about the time that he died.

And people are wanting to mark somebody who they have respect and esteem for and at the same time wanting to raise awareness of the natural world and the vanishing natural world and the importance of collections as well." Thunberg has inspired millions of young people to demand governmental action against climate change.

She has met with Pope Francis and former U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss the future of the planet... and sailed across the Atlantic to promote carbon-free travel earlier this year.

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