News Round-Up

About 500,000 Australian species are undiscovered – and scientists are on a 25-year mission to finish the job

Source: theconversation.com

Here are two quiz questions for you. How many species of animals, plants, fungi, fish, insects and other organisms live in Australia? And how many of these have been discovered and named?

To the first, the answer is we don’t really know. But the best guess of taxonomists – the scientists who discover, name, classify and document species – is that Australia’s lands, rivers, coasts and oceans probably house more than 700,000 distinct species.

On the second, taxonomists estimate almost 200,000 species have been scientifically named since Europeans first began exploring, collecting and classifying Australia’s remarkable fauna and flora. MORE

Header image: Fungi plays an essential ecosystem role. Credit: Shutterstock.