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Scientists announce top 10 new species, issue SOS
Date:5/23/2008

been described since Linnaeus initiated the modern systems for naming plants and animals in the 18th century. Scientists estimate there are between 2 million and 100 million species on Earth, though most set the number closer to 10 million.

According to the authors of the SOS report: There are many reasons that scientists explore Earths species: to discover and document the results of evolutionary history; to learn the species that comprise the ecosystems upon which life on our planet depends; to establish baseline knowledge of the planets species and their distribution so that non-native pests and vectors of disease may be detected; to inform and enable conservation biology and resource management.

Perhaps most compelling is curiosity about the diversity of life analogous to our quest to map the stars of the Milky Way and the contours of the ocean floor.

The State of Observed Species report will be issued annually on May 23 by ASUs International Institute for Species Exploration, along with the top 10 new species from the previous year.

Another element of the institutes public awareness campaign is the co-production of a humorous video on biodiversity titled Planet Bob, launched on YouTube last October. The video, produced with Media Alchemy of Seattle, combines live action, state-of-the-art animation, and the vocal talents of venerable TV host Hugh Downs and others.

The Web site www.PlanetBob.asu.edu and the video Planet Bob represent new ways to present taxonomy and biodiversity, in a creative fusion between academia and popular technology, says Wheeler, who also is ASU vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The International Institute for Species Exploration was created to advance the emerging field of cybertaxonomy in partnership with leading natural history collections, engineer new cyber tools, and educate and inspire the next generation of sp
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Contact: Carol Hughes
carol.hughes@asu.edu
480-965-6375
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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