New Species of Crayfish Named After Edward Snowden

A new crayfish species from Indonesia has been named after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The crayfish, as far as scientists know, doesn't have advanced computer skills, and hasn't exposed any government surveillance programs. Instead, it is regularly exported from its home in the West Papau region of Indonesia to Europe, East Asia and North America as a colorful pet, usually under the name “orange tip” or “green orange tip."

Now German researcher Christian Lukhaup and two of his colleagues are saying that the crayfish had previously been misidentified as a similar species. They gave this crayfish a new name, Cherax snowden, and made clear exactly where that name came from.

"The new species is named after the American freedom fighter Edward Joseph Snowden," they wrote in their study, published Monday in the journal ZooKeys. "He is honored due to his extraordinary achievements in defense of justice, and freedom."

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Despite being newly identified, the researchers warned that C. snowden could be at risk thanks to its popularity as a colorful addition to aquariums around the world.

The human Edward Snowden is still living in Moscow after the White House rejected a petition last month signed by nearly 168,000 people to let him back into the United States.