190 Million-Year-Old fossil named in honor of Alice Cooper

A new fossil species, Serpula alicecooperi, has recently been named in honor of the American singer and performer Alice Cooper. Alice Cooper now joins the ranks of several other great rockstars such as Tony Iommi, Lemmy, King Diamond, and the Rolling Stones, all of whom have had fossils named in their honor. 


The fossil, Serpula alicecooperi, is 190 million years old and represents a serpulid worm, a type of marine worm that constructed a calcified tube in which it lived. They live by filtering the sea water with their crown of tentacles, and when they feel threatened, they can retract their bodies into the tube that closes with a lid.


The fossil was found by amateur geologist Mette Hoftstedt in the 190 million-year-old Hasle Sandstone on the Danish Island of Bornholm and was handed over to the researchers at Geomuseum Faxe in Denmark for study and identification. The study describing and naming the fossil was conducted by researchers Tomas Koči from the Natural History Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, Jesper Milàn and Sten Lennart Jakobsen from Geomuseum Faxe, Denmark, and Arden Basforth from the Natural History Museum of Denmark. 


Palaeontologist Jesper Milàn from Geomuseum Faxe in Denmark says: 


When we studied the fossil, it quickly became clear that it was a new and unknown species of serpulid worm we were dealing with. Being both a paleontologist and a huge fan of metal and rock music, I have always thought that if somebody deserved to have a fossil named in his honor, it should be Alice for his enormous impact on the musical scene during the last half-decade.” 


“Serpulid worms were pioneers in their particular lifestyle when they first evolved, and they became an abundant element in the ocean’s ecosystems at the beginning of the Jurassic period, about 190 million years ago, and they are still around to this very day. Alice was a pioneer of the shock rock scene when he arrived during the late sixties, and he is still around to this very day,” Jesper Milàn says with a big smile. 


The scientific paper is published in Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark and can be downloaded here: Link kommer når artiklen er publiseret 

  • Kočí, T., Milàn, J., Jakobsen, S. L. & Bashforth, A. 2024. Serpula? alicecooperi sp. nov. – a new 
  • serpulid from the Lower Jurassic (Pliensbachian) Hasle Formation of Bornholm, Denmark. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 73, XX-XX. 

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