Saturday, June 07, 2008

New vertebrates described 2008 = 130!

That's not a misprint. 130. Naturalist Nick Sly set himself to reviewing every available source for new vertebrate descriptions. This number is actually low, since Sly excluded splitting of existing taxa and kept strictly to all-new species, plus he lacked full access to a few key journals and may have missed some species.
His breakdown:
Fish - 74 (56.9%)
Amphibian - 20 (15.4%)
Mammal - 6 (4.6%)
Reptile - 29 (22.3 %)
Bird - 1 (0.8%.

Sly goes into detail on each group in his blog. What an amazing piece of research - and what an amazing reminder that we do NOT know all the species on Earth.

Thanks to Loren Coleman for posting this item. (Loren noted there are at least two lemurs and a cloud rat (all covered in earlier posts on my blog if you are curious) that do not appear on Sly's list, so the mammal count, we know, is low.)

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