Imperial in the news: celebrity status

The claws of Kooteninchela deppi resemble Edward Scissorhands’ appendage

They may have starred together in the 2010 movie The Tourist, but you could be forgiven for thinking it far-fetched that Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp would be reunited via Imperial College London.

But last week that’s exactly what happened. Well, it’s sort of what happened. Following her public announcement that she had undergone a double mastectomy after finding out genetic tests gave her an 87 per cent chance of developing breast cancer, Jolie was the subject of much debate in the public sphere and cancer expert Professor Justin Stebbing (Surgery and Cancer) spoke with BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire about it.

Then on Thursday researcher David Legg (Earth Science and Engineering) spoke with the Daily Mail about a rather peculiar discovery – a fossilised arthropod that resembled one of Depp’s earliest iconic characters, Edward Scissorhands. As the discoverer, Legg had the opportunity to name the species and chose Kooteninchela deppi after his favourite actor.

Legg said: “When I first saw the pair of isolated claws in the fossil records of this species I could not help but think of Edward Scissorhands.  Even the genus name, Kooteninchela, includes the reference to this film as ‘chela‘ is Latin for claws or scissors. I am also a Depp fan and what better way to honour the man than to immortalise him as an ancient creature that once roamed the sea?”

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