Newly Found Fossil Named After Cartoonist

A cool story about the impact of political cartoons. Apparently, we’ve swapped influencing politicians to impacting paleontologists.

As a cartoonist, it is an honor to have someone cut out your cartoon from the newspaper and stick it on their fridge. But having a dinosaur named after you has to be a close second.

Apparently, a new series of pterosaur has been named after Gerald Scarfe, the famous British political cartoonist who lampooned Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a pointy nosed “torydactyl.”

The new pterosaur species, found by fossil collector Steve Etches and identified by University of Portsmouth palaeontologist Dr David Martill., has been named Cuspicephalus scarfi, because the fossil’s unusually pointy head reminded Dr. Martill of Scarfe’s cartoon.

“Although the new pterosaur discovery has a strong resemblance to his caricature of Margaret Thatcher, pterosaurs were never as divisive as Thatcher!” Martill said.

“I’m thrilled and flattered,” Scarfe said, responding to the news. “I never thought Mrs Thatcher would do anything for me – even if it is to be immortalised as a 155-million-year-old fossil.”

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post. For the past 35 years, Daryl has been one of America’s most prolific cartoonists.