Taxonomists announce, “And the Winner is…”
With over 18,000 species identified in 2012, and 140 nominees to select from, the top 10 new species were selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE). But whether new is the best word to describe the flora and fauna on this list, is a question. Overlooked might be a better phrase for some. And for one little bug, the discovery should read, “Found on Flickr”. The IISE has highlighted these representatives to draw attention to the biodiversity of our world. Some of these species were placed on the endangered list just as soon as they were identified – a reminder that our ecosystem is fragile. Extinction is a very real threat to some of these species and the cause is most typically human. We are in fact, a very successful and dominant species on this planet – though the bug population has us beat! Our use of this planet’s resources for our survival impacts other creatures in theirs.
Humans have, throughout the ages, named each creature and plant we have discovered and today, Taxonomy is used to help identify and classify the living world. In naming something, perhaps we also take on some ownership and responsibility. We have an amazing diverse world – let’s work to keep it this way!
Fun Fact: Human Population > 7,000,000,000 (7 billion)
Insect Population ~ 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 quintillion)