Undiscovered Species

Posted: February 15, 2017, 6:35pm

I recently read a staggering statistic in a journal article:

“It is estimated that the planet is host to 8 to 10 million species of plants and animals with approximately 1.5 million currently documented in the Catalogue of Life.”

Wow.

That’s a lot of scientific discovery waiting to happen. Some of the most exciting scientific advances in the past have happened when scientists are able to either mimic or harness life processes in various species for our benefit. We can study organisms that survive in harsh environments to understand how to better survive ourselves. We can study organisms self-repair functions and use those mechanism to develop new medicines. We can study natural processes of chemical exchange and other important chemical processes important to our environment.

So, in the name of science, let’s look at 3 examples of some incredible species that exist on earth.

1. Tardigrades

“Tardigrades are the most resilient animal known: they can survive extreme conditions that would be rapidly fatal to nearly all other known life forms. They can withstand temperature ranges from −458 degrees F (close to absolute zero) to about 300 degrees F, pressures about six times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and the vacuum of outer space. They can go without food or water for more than 30 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.” [1]

2. Japanese Spider Crab

This crab has the largest leg span of any athropod, which can be up to 18 feet long! Sorry if you’re going to have nightmares tonight.

3. Harp Seal

There’s nothing quite remarkable about the harp seal. I just think they are adorable. I want one!

Who knows what else lies in waiting to be discovered?

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