New scientific discoveries require names. Often scientists will name a newly discovered plant or animal after the person who discovered it or the place where it was located. Sometimes, apparently, they will name things after supernatural comedies from the 1980s. Paleontologists from the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada have discovered a nearly complete skeleton of a previously unknown species of dinosaur. Needing to name it something, they have apparently decided to name it after the fictional movie monster that it most closely resembles. Therefore it will forever be known as Zuul crurivastator, as it looks remarkably like the creature Sigourney Weaver transforms into in Ghostbusters.
Apparently, while trying to decide what to name it, Victoria Arbour, one of those credited with the discovery, joked that the creature resembled Zuul. Once the comment had been made, however, it stuck. According to the CBC, the dinosaur "has a short, rounded snout and prominent horns behind the eyes" which very much sounds like the face of the demon dog form of Zuul, as seen in the image above. While the head does sound remarkably similar, that's actually where the similarity ends. While Zuul had a short tail, the tail of Zuul crurivastator was three meters long and was likely used as a weapon. Also, Zuul crurivastator was a herbivore, and while we never see Zuul eat anything in Ghostbusters, one would assume it was not a vegetarian. It almost certainly ate meat, possibly also human souls.
The discovery was made by a team excavating a Tyrannosaurus skeleton in the Judith River Formation in Montana who found the new skeleton by accident due to its proximity. At this point, the entire fossil has yet to be fully freed from the rock, so there is still a lot that scientists have to learn about the creature. They expect to be able to figure out exactly how it died and ended up beneath so much rock.
Whatever else happens in the history of pop culture, Ghostbusters will now live forever as it has inspired the name of a dinosaur. It just shows how far the reach of the film truly is. Now, it's practically the responsibility of future paleontologists, if they ever discover a similar species of dinosaur, to name it Vinz Clortho. Clearly, Rick Moranis deserves the same love here as Sigourney Weaver.
Of course, now we really want a Ghostbusters sequel where the team fights dinosaurs because that would be awesome. They could incorporate the naming into the plot and they could fight the ghost of the Zuul dinosaur. Make it happen Hollywood. Hopefully, his will begin a trend of seeing more scientific discoveries named after movie characters, there are so many that deserve recognition. The kaiju options alone are nearly endless.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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