The Nature Writers of Texas

The best nature writing from the newspaper, magazine, blog and book authors of the Lone Star State . . .

Sunday, October 26, 2003

How many Animal Species exist Worldwide?
Ro Wauer, October 26, 2003, The Victoria Advocate, © 2003

There is an old saying that "little fish have bigger fish that feed on them and bite 'em, and big fish have still bigger fish, and so, ad infinitum." That quote can easily refer to the animal kingdom with its amazing diversity and huge numbers. It is like a great pyramid of life, with the greatest numbers of animal species at the bottom, supporting lesser numbers toward the top. Vertebrates sit at the top, with mammals, including we humans, near the summit.

But have you ever wondered about the total numbers of animal species that exist on planet Earth? Although more than a million have been described, the actual number may be closer to 10 million. Described insects alone make up the largest number at about 751,000 species, but Smithsonian Institution entomologist Terry Erwin estimates there may be 30 million species of tropical insects alone, a far cry from our current understanding. A fascinating indication of how little we know about our world. Edward Theriot, director of the Texas Memorial Museum and president of the Association of Systematics Collections, is quoted as saying: "We don't even know enough to tell you what we don't know."

After insects, the next most numerous kinds of animals are the noninsect arthropods at about 123,400 species. These are the crustaceans such as spiders, mites, and scorpions (about 35,000), centipedes (about 2,000), millipedes (about 7,000), as well as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, and shrimp (about 30,000). Next in numbers are the mollusks at about 110,000 species. These include snails, whelks and slugs that comprise 80,000; clams, oysters, mussels and scallops that account for about 15,000, chitons about 700, octopuses and squids about 400, and tooth or tusk shells about 350.

The protozoa, tiny single-celled organisms such as amoebas, are next with about 30,800; fishes and lower chordates with about 28,800; and earthworms with about 12,000 species. The fishes include about 23,000 species, divided into three groups: lampreys and hagfish; sharks, rays, and skates; and the bony fish, such as sturgeon, trout, perch, and other modern forms. Birds are next in numbers with about 9,000 species worldwide, followed by reptiles, including snakes, lizards, turtles and crocs, with about 6,300 species.

Echinoderms are next with about 6,100 species. These are the starfish, brittle stars, sea urchins, sea dollars, sea cucumbers, and such, all have tube feet and occur only in marine environments. They are followed by the mammals with about 4,500 species, and lastly are the amphibians, the frogs, toads and salamanders, with about 4,200 species.

Vertebrates, the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, those species with a backbone, number only about 44,000 species in total. They are but a tiny part of the animal kingdom. Yet we mammalian humans apparently are the only ones that seem to care about numbers and categories; we constantly strive to find more. New species of whales, monkeys, deer, and birds, as well as far more forms of invertebrates, have been discovered in recent years. In future years, it is not unimaginable that the number of animal species on Earth could increase by a factor of 10 or more.

Yet, all the while, human activities throughout our planet are seriously affecting our animals. Pollution of all types is causing noticeably declines in amphibians, a group of animals that well may be our "canary in the cage." Land clearing for developments, grazing, and agriculture, also is leading to dreadful losses and declines. We know so little about the abundant species being lost. Their value for medicines, as one example, will never be known.

21 Comments:

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how many species of animals are there overall?

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger dghnfgj said...

welcome to the wow gold, cheap WoW Power Leveling, service site,wotlk gold buy cheap wow gold,wow gold,world of warcraft power leveling buy wow gold

 
At 7:50 AM, Blogger bel said...

buy wow goldbuy wow goldbuy wow accountbuy wow gold

 
At 2:07 AM, Anonymous Wow Gold said...

Nice blog. I a also ardent player of WOW GOLD. I love this game. Nice posting about wow gold. Thanks!

 
At 2:13 AM, Anonymous Buy Wow Gold said...

Nice blog. I a also ardent player of WOW GOLD. I love this game. Nice posting about wow gold. Thanks!

 
At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Buy wow gold said...

Really very good blog for wow gold its really excellent. The content of your blog Is really superb.

 
At 3:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

我爱插MM
自拍偷拍
亚洲色图
成人网
五月天

 
At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JK人妻アニメ巨乳SM痴女熟女ナース盗撮素人エロ動画JK人妻アニメ巨乳熟女痴女ナースSM盗撮素人芸能芸能人芸能yourfilehostyourfilehostyourfilehost動画ファイルナビゲーターyourfilehostグラビアアイドルイラマチオyourfilehost
yourfilehostyourfilehostyourfilehostyourfilehost無修正yourfilehostyourfilehostアゲサゲパンチラパンストおっぱいYouTubeYouTubeYouTubeYouTubeYouTubeYouTubeYouTube

 
At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

痴女熟女おっぱいおしりロリ手こき素人エロ動画おまんこおまんこおまんこおまんこおまんこおまんこおまんこおまんこ下着フェチ芸能麻美ゆまAV女優浜崎りお吉沢明歩桜木凛大沢佑香Rio高坂保奈美佐藤美紀つぼみ大橋未久佳山三花川上ゆう橘れもんアダルト動画エロ動画エロ動画ニコ動画ようつべようつべdmmユーチューブエロ動画えろつべ無料アダルト無修正月野りさ三村翔子希崎ジェシカ大塚咲JK人妻

 
At 8:21 PM, Blogger donghua said...

I like your blog, it's very good!
By the way, do you like spyder down jackets, I think they are very fashionable and chic, especially the spyder ski jackets, I love them so much. In my spare time, I also like playing tennis rackets, it can keep healthy, what do you like to do?
kids north face jackets
polo vest
polo jacket
abercrombie fitch mens shirts
polo jackets for men
polo jackets for women
burberry shirts for men
polo hoodies for women
columbia jackets women
polo sweatshirts for women
north face jackets on sale
polo shirts for women
polo shirts wholesale
spyder jackets
ralph lauren polo shirt
polo pants for men
abercrombie fitch shirt
wholesale abercrombie fitch shirts
polo vests
polo jackets
polo hoodies for men
burberry shirts for women
burberry shirts on sale
polo shirts for men
north face jackets cheap
north face jackets for women
north face jackets for men
polo sweatshirts for men
columbia jackets for men
columbia jackets discount
spyder jackets for men
discount spyder jackets
cheap spyder jackets
spyder jacket
spyder jackets for women
tennis racquets
cheap tennis rackets
discount tennis rackets
tennis rackets on sale
prince tennis racquets
head tennis racquets
wilson tennis racquets
babolat tennis racquets

 
At 7:50 PM, Blogger lady said...

I like the side of the article, and very like your blog, to write well and hope to continue their efforts, we can see more of your articles. ed hardy clothes. After reading this article has strong feelings, the future will be ed hardy womens longsleeve.ed hardy longsleeve
ed hardy hoodies
ed hardy jeans
ed hardy
ed hardy clothing
ed hardy t-shirts
cheap ed hardy clothing
ed-hardy.co.uk
ed hardy shirts
wholesale ed hardy clothing
ed hardy outerwear
ed hardy mens outerwear
ed hardy womens outerwear
ed hardy clothes
ed hardy boots
ed hardy outerwear
ed hardy hoodies
ed hardy Jeans
ed hardy hoodies
ed hardy jackets
ed hardy womens jackets
ed hardy mens jackets
ed hardy bags
ed hardy trousers
ed hardy shoes
ed hardy longsleeve
ed hardy mens longsleeve
ed hardy womens longsleeve
ed hardy jackets
ed hardy suits
ed hardy clothing
ed hardy shoes
ed hardy jeans
ed hardy boots
ed hardy mens sweater
ed hardy womens cotton
ed hardy womens boots
ed hardy
ed hardy womens clothing

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger KM said...

手島優大堀恵杉原杏璃川奈栞ロリエロ10代エロ華彩なな次原かな風間ゆみ風間ゆみ立花里子鮎川なおAV女優フェラフェラチオフェラフェラフェラフェラフェラフェラチオフェラチオフェラチオエッチエッチエッチエッチエッチアダルト無料アダルトアダルト無料アダルトアダルトアダルト動画エロアニメえろアニメ堤さやか及川奈央小林ひとみ長瀬愛グラビアアイドルグラビアアイドルグラビアアイドルグラビアアイドルグラビアアイドルグラビアアイドルグラビアアイドルグラビアアイドルグラビアアイドルグラビアヌード

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger KM said...

眞鍋かをり高部知子長谷川ちひろ有川知里杉原杏璃西田麻衣松金洋子森下悠里滝沢乃南篠崎愛桜田さくら真木よう子次原かな浅野光ほしのあき原幹恵南結衣花井美理中川杏奈河中あい池田夏希中村静香岡本果奈美秦みずほ三井麻由磯山さやか松岡音々前田敦子石原さとみ釈由美子浜田翔子浜田コウ黒田知永子上戸彩加護亜依サイン競馬南明奈優木まおみ川村ゆきえ佐々木希スザンヌ山本梓ゴランジェリー岡崎美女飯島愛樹まり子近親相姦朝岡実嶺高樹マリアあいだもも夏目ナナ紅音ほたる無料版無料版無料版

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger KM said...

アダルト無料アダルトアダルト無料アダルトアダルトアダルト動画エロアニメえろアニメエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログ

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger KM said...

エログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログ

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger KM said...

エログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログエログアダルトサイン競馬無修正

 
At 3:38 AM, Blogger liu said...

When I surf the net, I come across your blog, and after I read your articles, I love your blog deeply.
Are you a fashion chaser? And do you like polo shirts, which are very chic, especially the polo t shirts, I love them very much. I also like playing tennis rackets, it can keep healthy, what do you like to do?
We are so honour to say that we are the outlet of
polo t shirts women
polo t shirts on sale
polo t shirts for women
polo shirts on sale
these products are warmly welcomed by our customers. And what's more we also sell
polo shirts men
men's polo shirt
men polo shirt
mens polo shirts
mens polo shirt
and the high-quality
cheap polo shirts
discount polo shirts
men's polo shirts
women's polo shirts
Our store are also famous for
cheap tennis racket
discount tennis racket
and the main product is
prince tennis racquet
head tennis rackets
wilson tennis racket
babolat tennis racquet
In this case, if you have time, you can buy many excellent things in our store, and we can assure you that we will not let you down.

 
At 4:41 AM, Anonymous WoW Po said...

Nice post

 
At 2:08 AM, Blogger  said...

姫野愛MUTEKI吉野公佳鈴木早智子エロ動画YouTubeえろつべSEXエロ動画アダルトロリータMUTEKIおっぱいアダルトS1ニコニコ動画youtubeveohエロ動画ようつべエロ動画えろつべエロ動画SEXゆーちゅーぶ

東京ほっとアダルトH動画エロ動画JK・JCyoutubeエロ動画熟女ニコ動画S1エスワン無修正AV動画エロ動画ユーチューブYouTubeようつべAV無料パイパン近親相姦レイプ強姦中出し二宮沙樹パイズリ明日花キララ

 
At 2:09 AM, Blogger  said...

オーラルセックス手こきパイパンイラマチオパイズリパイズリみひろ蒼井そら穂花原紗央莉小澤マリア初音みのりRio(柚木ティナ)秋元美由北条麻妃妃乃ひかりかすみ果穂天海つばさ藤浦めぐAV女優アダルトエロ動画JKアダルトまんこ

人妻奥様熟女熟女アダルト エロ動画マダムパンチラアダルトフェラフェラパイズリ手こき手こき痴女熟女熟女熟女熟女美脚美尻巨乳熟女巨乳

 
At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト
アダルト

 

Post a Comment

<< Home