Jul
02
2008

50,000 marine species wiped out!

Who will be next to go?: The greatest loss of marine diversity is due not to habitat destruction, but clerical error.
Who will be next to go?: The greatest loss of marine diversity is due not to habitat destruction, but clerical error.Courtesy mattneighbour

No, not extinct. Just re-named. See, a species can have lots of common names -- for example, groundhog, woodchuck, marmot, ground squirrel, and annoying little beggar who keeps digging up my garden -- but only one scientific name -- in this example, Marmota monax.

But it seems the researchers who go about naming marine species got a little carried away, giving more than one scientific name to a single species. Sometimes it was an honest mistake. Sometimes it was due to individual members of the same species taking on widely different forms, fooling researchers into thinking they were separate species. And sometimes it was due to “splitters” – taxonomists who seize on any tiny difference to declare a new species.

But a new survey of all named sea creatures has found that 31% -- some 56,000 so far – are, in fact, duplications. Some invertebrate species had as many as 40 different scientific names. More duplicates are sure to be uncovered, as the project is only about half-way done.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

People need to leave their habitats alone and let them figure things on their own unless their helping and curing them.

posted on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 1:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i really hate when people kill and mess with animals what have we ever done to them!?!?

posted on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 4:15pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

We have to stop this travesty! Or tragedy! We can never bring these fish back to life! When will people learn not to mess, you know? I dream of a future where the simple act of thorough reading could save tens of thousands of lives.

posted on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 5:34pm
Mickey mouse's picture
Mickey mouse says:

we need to stop the tragedy of killing animals today

posted on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 7:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Well, for one thing we have been eating them for all of our history.

posted on Wed, 07/02/2008 - 8:46pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Imagine a world without irony.

posted on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:44am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Are you saying there's no iron left in the world? First the fish, and now the iron. We are destroying our planet. This must stop.

posted on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 11:47am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

No, iron has simply been renamed ferrum.

posted on Thu, 07/03/2008 - 12:49pm

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