Beetles Top Latest Inventory of Newly Discovered Species

Posted on January 18, 2012

2009 New Species Word Cloud

More than half of the 19,232 species newly known to science in 2009 (the most recent calendar year of compilation) were insects. 9,738 or 50.6 percent of the newly discovered species in 2009 were insects according to the 2011 State of Observed Species (SOS) report released Jan. 18 by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University. The word cloud above visually represents the number of species in each category discovered and officially described in 2009.

Of the newly discovered insects many of them (about 36%) were beetles. Over 3,485 new beetle species were discovered in 2009. This is not surprising as beetles are extremely common on Earth. Scientists estimate that 25% off all known life forms on Earth are beetles. British geneticist and evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane is quoted as saying that the Creator, if he exists, has "an inordinate fondness for beetles."

Here are some more highlights of the report:
Photo: International Institute for Species Exploration/Arizona State University

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