The Elton John Shrimp – It’s Not What You Think

When one thinks of the super famous pop star, Elton John, the first thing that comes to mind usually would not be a sea crustacean – aka, a shrimp.

However, now that a brand new species of sea crustacean has been named after Elton John, the correlation will actually make sense. Newly discovered in the coral reefs of Indonesia, the scientific name for the commonly referred to Elton John shrimp, is L. Eltoni.

The Elton John shrimp was discovered inside another invertebrate that stuck itself to the walls of a coral reef near Raja Ampat in Indonesia.

When James Thomas of the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography discovered the Elton John shrimp under a microscope, he immediately likened the shape he was seeing to a pair of shoes that he’d seen Elton John wear once in The Who film, Tommy.

“When this unusual crustacean with a greatly enlarged appendage appeared under my microscope after a day of collection, an image of the shoes Elton John wore as the ‘Pinball Wizard’ came to mind.”

A self-proclaimed Elton John fan, Thomas says that he often listens to the singer’s music while working in the lab.

Crustaceans included such familiar animals as crabs, crayfish, shrimp, lobsters, krill, and barnacles. There are over 67,000 different types of animals in the crustacean family, with the Elton John shrimp being the newest.

Bodies of crustaceans are composed of body segments. Those body segments are grouped into three separate regions called the cephalon (that being the head), the thorax, and the abdomen. The main body cavity of a crustacean like the Elton John shrimp is an open circulatory system.

Elton John’s (the singer, not the shrimp) career has spanned over five decades. In that career, the singer born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, has had more than 50 Top 40 hits, seven No. 1 consecutive albums, and for 31 consecutive years, Elton has had at least one song in the Billboard Top 100.

Elton John has received five Brit Awards, six Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Tony Award, a Disney Legend Award, and a Kennedy Center Honors Award in 2004.

Now, on top of all of that, Elton John has a shrimp named after him.

[Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images]