There Are One Trillion Living Things On Earth

Thinking of all the living things on Earth– plants, animals, insects, bacteria– everything– how many different species would you guess there are? Indiana University researchers used the laws of math to come up with an estimate that includes both micro and macro life, and say there may be as many as 1 trillion species out there. The scientists analyzed data sources that sampled about 35,000 sites for bacteria, microscopic fungi, as well as trees, birds, and mammals. Using this information, researchers were able to work out the scaling rules that linked the number of individual organisms to the number of total species. This led them to an estimate of between 100 billion and one trillion species of microbes on Earth. Study co-leader Jay Lennon says, “Our results show that this leaves 100,000 times more microorganisms awaiting discovery– and 100 million to be fully explored.” (Mashable)