Basics of Biology

Classification of Life

How many different species of fungi are on Earth?

According to scientific reports in 2011, an estimated 8,700,000 (give or take 1.3 million) total species are on Earth—from microorganisms and plants to animals. Overall, around 6.5 million are terrestrial (land-based) and 2.2 million (about 25 percent) are in the oceans. Of those organisms described and catalogued by 2011, just over 953,000 species are animals, about 215,000 species are plants, around 43,000 species are fungi, and just over 8,000 species are protozoa. Many scientists agree that many more species have yet to be uncovered, with estimates of about 86 percent of all species on land and 91 percent in the oceans yet to be discovered, described, and catalogued.


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