Home > Yahoo Questions > Your Questions About How To Discover New Species

Your Questions About How To Discover New Species

George asks…

What is the percentage of living animals and plants versus total species on Earth’s history?

I read from Wikipedia (or maybe another source, cannot remember) that most animal and plant species that had lived on Earth’s history are extinct.

What is an approximation of a percentage of living species today vs total species that existed on Earth? I guessed it would be around 40% or so but I wished a Biology expert responded this. Thank you.

New Niche Finder answers:

It’s likely less than 1%. The known fossil record of animals goes back into the Precambrian Ediacaran faunas, but the presently unknown and always-will-be-unknown species, that either haven’t been discovered yet or never fossilized in the first place, would outnumber the known record enormously.

Even if we just stick to that bit of time, and disregard the unknown ancestors of the Ediacaran faunas, we’re already talking about getting on for 600 million years. As a rule of thumb estimation, most animal species are liable to last perhaps two million years.

That’s 300 times as long as the genus Homo has been around, about 3000 times as long as our species, H. Sapiens has existed, and something like 120 000 longer than all or written history. To put into strict scientific terms, it’s mind-bogglingy very long indeed, and is time enough for myriads of carnival processions, many of them with just as many species as there are now. And that’s ignoring the pre-Ediacaran faunas.

Thus my figure of likely less than 1 percent.

Maria asks…

How many undiscovered species are there likely to be?

Excluding microorganisms, how many undiscovered species are there likely to be right now? I’m sure there must be loads, considering how the world has dense rainforests, deep oceans and I’m guessing there are also undiscovered species thousands of miles under the ground. What do you think?

New Niche Finder answers:

Most of the world’s species remain undiscovered by science.

Biologists have described and classified 1.7 million plants and animals as of 2010, less than one-quarter of the total species estimated in the world. Scientists figure there are still over five million species waiting to be found. The table below lists how many undiscovered species exist for each type of plant and animal.

So far, zoologists have reported on nearly all the mammal and bird species currently living on earth. There may be a dozen or so left that as yet are unknown to science.

Most of the fish and reptiles are already identified, but there remain several thousand more left to find. Meanwhile, new techniques in molecular biology are helping scientists identify new amphibian species.
Undiscovered Animals

Where most of the discovery work still needs doing is with invertebrate animals, creatures without backbones. Taxonomists have classified only one-fifth of all invertebrate species.

About four million insects have not yet been examined and named. Another half million spiders and their relatives are still unidentified. Plus hundreds of thousands of aquatic creatures, ranging from snails to sponges, remain mysterious.
Unknown Plants

There are still nearly one-fifth of vascular plants left to discover, not including an unknown number of plant algae species. While scientists have documented nearly all the coniferous plants, these make up a tiny fraction of all plant species. Thousands of the world’s flower, fern and moss species are new to science and have yet to be recorded.

Ken asks…

From the Twilight zone and beyond, how many sea creatures have been approximately discovered?

I am not talking about the show, either. Twilight zone as in one of the ocean’s layers. The one where it first becomes dark, and you see the Angler fish hanging around there. I want a rough estimate of how many legit discoveries there has been so far of sea species around that layer, and below. It’d be nice if you supply me with a link along with your answer. Thank you very much.

New Niche Finder answers:

Im sorry i don’t have a link for you
there have only been 4-7 discovered species, but there’s always the eye-witness accounts of things like the kraken and whatnot

John asks…

Create an experiment to determine if a new species has phenotypic plasticity or local adaptation?

Imagine that you discover a new plant species that seems to survive under a wide variety of environmental conditions. Very briefly describe an effective, but very low budget approach (i. e., not a genome study) to discern whether the wide niche that this species has is due to phenotypic plasticity or local adaptation.

Also, answer the following question: What specific result would you expect if local adaptation is the actual explanation for the species having a broad niche?

New Niche Finder answers:

Collect seeds from one phenotype and grow them in the conditions that have the other phenotype and the reverse. If the species is plastic the seedlings will mature with a phenotype suited to their current habitat. If it is an inherited adaptation they will retain the characteristics of their parental ecotype despite their current habitat.

Daniel asks…

Will scientists ever discover the planet where the aliens who began the human race live?

Do you think there are any of that alien species still around? Do they still like to get it on with monkeys?
Look at an alien, look at a monkey and then look at a human. What other conclusion can you come to honestly?

New Niche Finder answers:

Way to be ignorant about astronomy, biology and evolution all at once!

Powered by Yahoo! Answers

I love hearing from you so please post a comment. All I ask is that you contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way. If your comment is unrelated to the post or is solely self-promotional, your comment will not be approved.

Comments are closed.