Think You Know About Mammals?

There’s deer and dogs.

Rhinos and rats.

Bears and bats.

But can you name all 6,495 species?

This statistic comes from the new Mammal Diversity Database (MDD), which was presented in a recent study in the Journal of Mammalogy. It shows roughly a 20% increase in overall mammal diversity since 2005.

New species that are “discovered” tend to be small frogs in hidden habitats of the rainforest or insects that live under interesting conditions. Scientists subconsciously figured that mammals were already well-known.

However, over 1,200 species have been recognized since 2005’s Mammal Species of the World documentation series.

The good news is that there are more mammal species than scientists have thought.

To create the new database, researchers reviewed over 1,000 publications to stay up to date on the necessary information to name and decipher species from each other. Some of the changes that were made a decade ago are only now making it into practice. They aim to have up-to-date databases similar to ones that exist for amphibians, reptiles and birds.

The new database is available here.

Spurces: EurekAlert! The Global Source for Science News

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