230,000 Species Identified in World's First Marine Life Census

By Niraj Chokshi
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Ten years in the making, scientists today published the results of the first-ever global marine life census.

A team of more than 360 scientists around the world have spent the past decade surveying 25 regions, from the Antarctic through the temperate and tropical seas to the Arctic to count the different types of plants and animals.

The results show that around a fifth of the world's marine species are crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters, krill and barnacles. Add in molluscs (squid and octopus) and fish (including sharks) and that accounts for up to half of the number of species in the world's seas. The charismatic species often used in conservation campaigning - whales, sea lions, turtles and sea birds - account for less than 2% of the species in the world's oceans.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

Image: The Guardian

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/08/230-000-species-identified-in-worlds-first-marine-life-census/60891/