In article <CLBpoH.2x5 at pnfi.forestry.ca> lmarshal at pnfi.forestry.ca (Larry Marshall) writes:
>In <1994Feb15.215402.9318 at emba.uvm.edu> brianf at med.uvm.edu (Brian Foley) writes:
>>>: What are the current estimates on the total number of species of plant and
>>: animal life in the world today?
>> Oops. In my first response I did not notice that you were only
>>interested in plants and animals, not fungi, eubacteria, archaebacteria
>>and other life forms. We do have fairly good estimates of plant and
>>animal species diversity. I don't have the number handy though...
Let's not forget about all the invertebrates out there, especially marine
inverts. I believe that inverts compose >95% of all animals or roughly
3/4 of all organisms known.
there are currently >1 million described species
arthropods are ~85% of all animals (3/4 of these are insects)
there are currently over 30 phyla (including 5-7 Protista)
As for how many species have been since the primordial soup, just remember
that most species do not leave behind fossil evidence.
All that said and done... What EXACTLY is a species? ;-)
Dept. of Biology
University of S.W. Louisiana
tjk1846 at usl.edu