The Earth’s biological fecundity is staggering. While the exact number of terrestrial species is not known, it is estimated that there are between five and 30 million. Indeed, some scientists place the number as high as 50 million. Estimates of marine and, in particular, deep sea species vary widely from 500,000 to 100 million. While there is continuing debate among scientists over the extent to which global estimates of species numbers can be inferred based on limited data, it is clear that the number and diversity of both terrestrial and marine species is high....
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