One million and counting

ABC News reports that an effort to catalogue the world’s species has reached the one million count – or about 50% of what’s known.

This raises many interesting questions such as: how many are unknown? How many will never be known due to extinction? Does this project include the many uncultivable species of bacteria and archaea? Are there web resources where I can find out more?

However, this is ABC Science news and so consists of 7 lines, no useful information and no external links. “Those involved say it is like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle.” How insightful. I wouldn’t be surprised if they said no such thing, since it makes no sense whatsoever. No, you’ll have to do your own web searching to find out more.

Update: try the Catalogue of Life website

One thought on “One million and counting

  1. The jigsaw puzzle analogy actually makes some predictions that biologists ought to try out. For example, it suggests we should focus initially on organisms that live in grass or fly because everybody knows a good strategy for solving jigsaw puzzles is to assemble the grass and sky pieces first. It also explains why cats are so detrimental to ecosystems where they have been introduced, such as that of New Zealand. Anybody with cats knows that it’s a bad idea to leave an unfinished jigsaw puzzle if you expect all the pieces to still be there when you return.

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