How many unknown critters live in the ocean? Florida Museum of Natural HistoryGustav Paulaymarine species
There are about 226,000 described marine species in the world but two to three times as many that remain undescribed, research suggests.
“The entire ocean contains less than 300,000 species described to date and that includes everything from dolphins to worms to single-celled algae,” says Gustav Paulay, invertebrate curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.
“Because it’s so connected, there’s less diversity in the ocean than on land. There’s still a lot more to be discovered, but it’s a manageable number so we can go after it and really understand the magnitude of marine biodiversity.”
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