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Scientists announce top 10 new species; issue SOS
Date:5/24/2009

ealize just how incomplete our knowledge of Earth's species is or the steady rate at which taxonomists are exploring that diversity. We are surrounded by such an exuberance of species diversity that we too often take it for granted," says Wheeler, who also is ASU vice president, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and a professor in the School of Life Sciences.

The annual top 10 new species announcement and issuance of the SOS report commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Carolus Linnaeus, who initiated the modern system of plant and animal names and classifications. The 300th anniversary of his birth on May 23 was celebrated worldwide in 2007. Last year marked the 250th anniversary of the beginning of animal naming.

There are an estimated 1.8 million species that have 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.

The SOS report card summarizes the number of major pspecies.asu.edulant and animal species newly described for the most recent year of complete data. The majority of the 18,516 species described (named) in 2007 were invertebrate animals (75.6 percent), vascular plants (11.1 percent) and vertebrates (6.7 percent). This year's SOS report also includes data for prokaryotes (bacteria and Archaea) in addition to protists.

The State of Observed Species report and list of top 10 new species issued annually by ASU's International Institute for Species Exploration is part of its public awareness campaign to shine attention on biodiversity and the field of taxonomy. Last year's list and report are online at species.asu.edu.

An international committee of experts, chaired by Janine N. Caira of the University of Connecticut, selected the top 10 new species for this year's list.
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Contact: Carol Hughes
carol.hughes@asu.edu
480-965-6375
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

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