Monday, October 4, 2010

Census on Marine Life

Glass squid photo from National Geographic: Scientists found the squid and other species while mapping more than 1,500 square miles (3,900 square kilometers) of an undersea mountain range in the North Atlantic.

More biodiversity in the news today with the publication of the findings of the Census on Marine Life - a 10 year, $650 million program involving 2,700 scientists from 80 nations.

Scientists estimate that there are more than 1 million marine species but only about 250,000 have been formally described in scientific literature over the centuries. Those figures exclude microbes -- of which the census estimate there are up to 1 billion kinds. 

Thanks to Ryan again for this news tip, especially the Wall Street Journal article which contains this illuminating comment (pun intended):
Dr. Snelgrove likened the census to a flashlight used to explore a dark house. While it's a start, "we haven't turned on the lights yet," he said.

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