A unique study conducted by 270 taxonomists from 32 countries has determined that there are about one million species in the ocean.
Each taxonomist (a scientists who specializes in classifying organisms) calculated the actual number of species within their specialty as well as the estimated number of species that have yet to be discovered.
- Based on the rate of discovery of new species, there are about 540,000 species (ranging from 320,000-760,000).
- Based on the experience of the experts and a projection of the actual number of species found in sampled areas, the number of species ranges from 704,000 to 972,000
- Either way, the calculations reveal that we only know about 1/3 of the species in existence
- There were about 170,000 cases where one species was classified under two or more different names
“Bringing together the leading taxonomists around the world to pool their information has been the great merit of this research,” said Enrique Macpherson, a researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes.
To learn more:
- Read the full news release: About one million species inhabit the ocean
- Check out the World Register of Marine Species, where all of the information was compiled
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.