Our planet is teeming with life: about 8.7 million species are currently living on Earth, including plants. But perhaps not everybody knows that most of the species that have ever lived have been extinct.
A new study that USA TODAY writes about brings an incredible conclusion after analyzing gene sequences of more than 4,000 mammal species using machine learning techniques and a supercomputer. Researchers concluded that only about 80% of the existing mammals had been discovered. They believe that hundreds of mammals weren’t identified yet.
But if so many mammals haven’t been discovered yet, what could those creatures look like? Perhaps you’ll be disappointed to find out that you shouldn’t hope for any alien-like species.
You can bet on rodents, bats, shrews, and moles
Some of the species that weren’t discovered yet are likely small animals. Therefore, you can bet on bats, rodents, etc. Bryan Carstens started the new research, who’s a professor at Ohio State University.
Carstens stated for USA TODAY:
This is work that’s largely done with genetics with fine scale examinations of specimens that have already been collected.
Otherwise, mammals are amazing creatures. All of these animals are known to have hair, and it even applies to dolphins and whales of the ocean. Another interesting fact is that all mammal babies receive milk from their mothers.
There’s also worth knowing that the world of mammals is indeed very diverse. Some mammals can fly, others are able to live underground, some mammals live underwater, and so on. It doesn’t matter too much if an area is dominated by cold temperatures or warm temperatures. Mammals can live under both conditions.
The new study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.