Turns out we don't have to go to a galaxy far, far away to see a Wookie from Star Wars. There's one right here in our planet. Well, at least a Wookie-like species.
During a recent field research in New Guinea, an international group of entomologists have discovered a new species of hairy beetle. The scientists called the species Trigonopterus chewbacca not because of its size, but due to its color and hair-like growth that covers its limbs.
In fact, the Chewbacca beetle is so minute that it is only a few millimeters long.
The newly-discovered species resides in leaf litter or low-lying foliage, which are found in dense natural areas like Papua New Guinea.
The entomologists also discovered three other new beetle species during the expedition.
The Chewbacca beetle isn't the only creature to have been named after a Star Wars character though. There's also the Aptostichus sarlacc spider, Yoda purpurata acorn worm, and the Tetramorium jedi ant. While the names showcase a combination of two things some scientists are passionate about, some people in the field of science believe that science fiction may weaken real-world research.
Personally, I think sci-fi is a source of inspiration and promotes imagination – something Einstein said is more important than knowledge.
The new study about the new beetle species have been featured in the journal ZooKeys.