Our planet has about 8.7 million living species, of which 6.5 million evolve on land and 2.2 million in the aquatic environment, according to the most accurate estimate ever done and published Tuesday, August 23 United States . Only 1.23 million (or 14.1% of total) of them have so far been discovered, described and cataloged, the researchers said the Census of Marine Life ('Census of Marine Life'), authors this work appeared in the American scientific journal PLoS Biology.
This estimate, which results from analysis based on the latest proven techniques in taxonomy, can significantly strengthen the figures above, which varied from 3 to 100 million species. 'The question of how many living species exist on Earth has intrigued scientists for centuries and this response, coupled with other research on the distribution and abundance of species, is particularly important because human activities and impact speed the extinction rate ', said Camilo Mora, University of Hawaii and Dalhousie, Halifax (Canada), and lead author of the study.
According to the researcher, 'number of species could disappear before we even knew about it, their unique function in the ecosystem and their potential contribution to improve the well-being of humans'. The recent update of 'Red List' prepared by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) reported 59 508 monitored species, including 19,625 are threatened with extinction, is Boris Worn, the Dalhousie University, co-author of the communication.
The researchers estimate that 7.77 million total number of animal species, including 953 434 have been described and classified. There are also 298 000 different