Vanishing Species

Counting our Natural Blessings

A study by Canada’s Dalhousie University postulates that as many as 86 percent of Earth’s species are still unknown, and millions of organisms will remain undiscovered as extinctions accelerate worldwide at 10 to 100 times their natural rate.

If, as the study’s co-author Boris Worm suggests, our planet is home to 8.7 million species, it means scientists have cataloged fewer than 15 percent of species now alive. Many unknown organisms will wink out of existence before they can even be recorded.

Although the catalog of mammals and birds may be nearly complete, inventories of other classes of life are far behind. Only 7 percent of the predicted number of fungi and fewer than 10 percent of all ocean life forms have been identified.

Categorizing a new organism is more complicated than discovering one. “It’s a long process,” Worm explains. “Most scientists will describe dozens of species in their lifetime, if they’re really lucky. What’s been discovered so far are those things that are easy to find, that are conspicuous, that are relatively large. There is an age of discovery ahead of us when we could find out so much more of what lives with us on this planet.”

Source: National Geographic

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Animal Chiropractic

Horses, dogs, cats, pigs and even elephants and birds have been permanently helped by spinal adjustments performed by animal chiropractors.

Early Puberty

American girls often start physically maturing these days before age 10—a dramatic drop in the onset rate of puberty that appears linked to diet, chemicals and stress.

Be True to Yourself

Twisting yourself into a pretzel to please others means you never get to know the one who’s really important—yourself.

EPA: A Muzzled Watchdog

Political corruption has resulted in America’s most critical environmental enforcement unit turning into the “polluter’s protection agency.”

Red/Purple Produce is Best for Our Weight and Heart

We know that virtually all veggies and fruit are good for us, but a recent European study found that red and purple choices have certain robust benefits.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags