Joined: Jan. 2006
|Quote (Henry J @ Sep. 23 2007,17:02)|
|I recall reading a few years ago that the number of fossil finds that had been studied was around 250 to 500 million. Since quite a few species have multiple finds, the number of species represented would be a good bit less than that.|
I wonder how many species have lived in the last 500 million years - would that be more or less than 500 million?
500 million fossils would probably represent at most a million of species, perhaps much less.
Given speciation rates and estimations of current biodiversity, hundreds of billions of species may have lived since the cambrian. I'm not sure if there is an estimation of that number.
What would be interesting is an estimation of the total number of fossil specices for a given group (say animals with skeleton) and a given time range of 1-5 million years. For instance, from -125 to -100 million years. I guess this number is always WAY smaller that the number of known living species of the same group.