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Planet Earth is home to 8.7 million species, scientists estimate


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Species count put at 8.7 million The natural world in numbers Animals: 7.77 million (12% described) Fungi: 0.61 million (7% described) Plants: 0.30 million (70% described) Protozoa: 0.04 million (22% described) Chromists: 0.03 million (50% described) The natural world contains about 8.7 million species, according to a new estimate described by scientists as the most accurate ever. But the vast majority have not been identified - and cataloguing them all could take more than 1,000 years. The number comes from studying relationships between the branches and leaves of the "family tree of life". The team warns in the journal PLoS Biology that many species will become extinct before they can be studied. Although the number of species on the planet might seem an obvious figure to know, a way to calculate it with confidence has been elusive. In a commentary also carried in PLoS Biology, former Royal Society president Lord (Robert) May observes: "It is a remarkable testament to humanity's narcissism that we know the number of books in the US Library of Congress on 1 February 2011 was 22,194,656, but cannot tell you - to within an order of magnitude - how many distinct species of plants and animals we share our world with."

47371=2270-_54739046_haeckel_arachnida.j full article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14616161

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I liked the part ...

But the vast majority have not been identified - and cataloguing them all could take more than 1,000 years.

and some people say living forever would be boring...we haven't even started to live yet...

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