Making Their Guess
Scientists don’t just pull a number out of a hat. They make an educated guess about how many species are living on the planet. Some believe there are between 2 and 8 million different species, but others think there are 5.5 million species of bugs alone. This could push the number into the tens of millions.
Changing The Figures
Potentially having so many species means that other figures have changed, too. Before, it was thought that 27,000 species are endangered. Now, researchers believe the number is more likely to be around the 1 million species mark.
The Smaller Critters
So how could there be so many species living on Earth without us ever knowing? That’s all thanks to the smallest of the smallest critters. These are the mites that live on the insects and the worms that live in the mites on the insects. Phew.
Many scientists believe that increasing the amount of exploration we do is the key to finding out an accurate number – and helping to save species along the way. Thousands of species have gone extinct in the last few hundred years. However, that could all change if we know how many species we need to conserve.
The world is filled with all kinds of hidden wonders. The best bit? The plants and animals make it such a beautiful planet. However, it looks as though we may never know how many species we really share the space with as there could simply be too many to count.