Scientists Name Prehistoric Bird After Lucero

January 12, 2010  |  3:00pm

The sounds of the ancient Screaming Roadrunner weren’t exactly music to the ears. In fact, scientists liken the species to the modern-day Southern Screamer of Peru, whose cry is best described in terms of airhorns and blaring brass. It certainly didn’t sound like Ben Nichol’s lacerated howl, but that didn’t stop scientists from naming the Late Cretaceous sqwaker after Nichol’s punk-country outfit Lucero.

Donations from the Memphis crew supported research of the Hollanda luceria, earning them the privilege of bestowing their honorific on one of Mongolia’s most ear-splitting former residents.

The bird trotted the sand dunes of the Gobi Desert between 71 and 75 million years ago and shared its habitat with dinosaurs, mammals and lizards, according to a Discovery News interview with dinosaur researcher Alyssa Bell. An illustration of the bird can be seen on Discovery’s website.

So, are the guys of Lucero enthusiastic members of the Audubon Society? Or perhaps eager scholars of defunct species of central Asia? The band’s website gives no indication as to their motives in helping fund the research. Whatever their reasons, prehistory buffs everywhere owe a little debt of grattitude to the boys of Lucero for their help in securing the Screaming Roadrunner’s legacy

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