Kevin Kelly originally shared:
How many species of life are alive on Earth today? Almost 2 million that we know about. Some taxonomists estimate there may be another 8 million non-microbial species still to be discovered. A few years ago science discovered 19,000 new species (takes a while for the reports to flow in). As usual most of them were beetles. "If the current rate of discovery continues, it will take taxonomists over 400 years to describe the world's estimated 10 million (non-microbial) species." That's why I was involved in initiating the All Species Inventory in 2000 to discover, name and catalog all the species on Earth in only 25 years. It didn't succeed, but it is still a good idea.
In 2009 researchers described and named 19,232 species new to science, pushing the number of known species on Earth to just under two million (1,941,939 species), according to the State of Observed Sp...