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162 Million Species Still to be Discovered?


Up to 90% of Earth's species have yet to be discovered by science, according to Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson. I can't say I'm surprised, since I seem to read announcements about newly found species almost every day.

Of course, you have to wonder -- how long will it take to discover all of these new species? How many will lose their habitat and die out before we can even discover them? Can we even discover them all? There just isn't enough funding to support that much scientific discovery, and there aren't enough biologists entering the field to find all of these species (or, as I've written before, to classify and name them) -- let alone protect them.

It's taken 250 years to discover and classify the 1.2 million species we know about so far. There's still so much for us left to learn. Knowledge and discovery is a good thing. I just wish we would treasure it as much as we do our oil and shopping malls.