Saturday, August 04, 2012

New amphibians - by the thousand!

3,000 species in 25 years

Yes, you read that right. Herpetologists have described an average of 120 new species a year for the last quarter-century.  The total number of amphibians on the AmphibiaWeb project has passed 7,000.  So we've gotten them all now? No where close.  Given that 100 have been described so far in 2012, the species discovery curve is, if anything, trending UP. The news isn't all good - as many as 40% of the known species are threatened to some degree - but the sheer number is astonishing. We don't know all the inhabitants of this planet yet, not even the vertebrates. Not by a long shot.

No comments: