Scientists have estimated that a total of 8.7 million animal species live on Earth, meaning there are 7.5 million species yet to be discovered!
Why haven’t we discovered more animal species?
When you think about it, animals must be seen to be discovered! Unfortunately, this means that scientists must go to where they live and be lucky enough to find them – some animals are too small or too well hidden to be easily found. It’s also a lot harder for scientists to watch animals underwater. This explains why many more sea animals than land animals are yet to be discovered!
Scientists think many undiscovered land animals live in remote parts of the world, like tropical rainforests. However, if you’ve always dreamed of discovering a new animal species, then don’t worry. Given that there are so many undiscovered animal species, you still have a good chance of finding one even in your garden!
Now, returning to the first question: how many animals are there worldwide? The answer is that no one can say with any certainty! Given that many species have millions, if not billions, of members, the total number of animals worldwide is too high to count. Perhaps one day, as scientists keep exploring and recording new animals, we might come closer to knowing the answer.
Are some animals going extinct?
As well as discovering new animals, it is essential to consider animal extinction too, as this also changes the number of animals in the world. It’s estimated that up to a million plant and animal species are at risk of being extinct in the next decade.
Some animals have gone extinct, including a rodent called the Brambly Cay melomys, George, the loneliest tree snail, and a Christmas Island pipistrelle bat.
Many factors, like climate change, lead to animal extinction, but we can fight it in many ways, like creating laws to protect endangered species or reduce carbon emissions. So if someone asks you, ‘just how many animals are there in the world?’, you can also impress them by talking about the critical matter of animal extinction.