Kids Want To Know: How Many New Species Discovered In Last 5 Years?

6:08 PM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, NC --  For most of the weekly Kids Want To Know questions, the 2WTK team usually has an idea of what the answer will be, even before we ask an expert. Not this time.

Wesley asks, "How many new species have been discovered over the last five years?".

At last count in 2011, the natural world contains about 8.7 million species of animals.

But how many have been discovered in the last five years?
We're not sure.
So we asked Rick Bollin, the Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians at the Greensboro Science Center to figure it out.

The short answer: hundreds. "You might kind of be surprised, but if you're talking the animal world you're not only talking about just mammals, the larger animals and birds you have to look at the invertebrate's world, " says Bollin.

"There lots of animals discovered every year especially in the insect and other pod community." Bollin says experts have identified well over a million species of insects and there probably that many more to be discovered.

"A lot of the tropical countries, exotic areas where there are lots of insects and other small invertebrates there lots of new discoveries each year. But every now and then there is a kind of what they would call a major discovery where maybe a new bird species but there are many more new discoveries then you would be there to be. "

Every week we answer a KWTK question. Get your kid to ask a question and record it on your smartphone and then email it to

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