August 8, 2022

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Nakensneglen Trinchesia cuanensis

The Species Database believes that 35 percent of what lives in nature remain undetected – NRK Trøndelag

The bank is not full yet!

This is what Stine Svalheim Markussen says. She is responsible for the species project in Trondheim Species Database. Like most banks, they also have room for more.

They recently published an overview of how different people who live in Norwegian nature are. Everything from polar bears to amoebas, from fir trees to tiny mushrooms and algae.

As of today, researchers know of 46,891 different species in this country. But they estimate that only 65% ​​of the species are there.

– There is still a lot undiscovered at sea. There is a hard time finding the species because they are hidden from us. But there is a lot more on Earth, too. Mushrooms for example. There is a lot undiscovered, Markusen says.

This is the distribution between proven and unknown species in Norway. The species is divided into five kingdoms. The inner circle shows the distribution among 46,891 identified species, while the outer circle shows the distribution among 25,299 yet to be discovered species.

Image: Species databases

discoveries every year

Perhaps not surprisingly, mammals, birds, and fish have the best overview. The plant kingdom also possesses a great deal of knowledge.

If it goes into amoebae, then there is a lot that is unknown.

There is still a lot we don’t know about insects. Our projects revolve around wasps and feeling. There are flies, mosquitoes and the like. Every year we get new species being discovered there, she says.

Discovering new species is arduous and time-consuming. First of all, you need to know a lot about the species you want to investigate. Then you have to go out into the field and look. Especially in areas where this species is conceivable.

Those who are lucky enough to find something new should provide a detailed description of the new species and publish it in a journal. Then you should get a name. It is a process that can take many years.

You can have types that look exactly the same, but are actually different types, says Markusen.

Scientists examine naked snails with a microscope

Underwater photographer and nude snail enthusiast Tine Kinn Kvamme studies findings from a group with researcher Alexander Martynov of Moscow State University during a nude snail safari at the Gulen Dive Center.

Photo: Torkild Bakken / NTNU Science Museum

new discoveries

The search for new species is largely purposeful and meticulous. But sometimes researchers find them, too.

Two researchers from Trondheim had an event last summer. In an anthill under a rock in Risør, the two had to search for wasps living with the ant. Hit inside tua to flash. At first they found a never-before-seen fly wasp in Norway.

But tua has many secrets to offer. Unexpectedly, a little beetle appeared that lived there as well. The club beetle they found was also a completely new species in Norway.

Then there was the little naked snail that was found in the North Sea outside western Norway not too long ago.

The master student who found the snail, which is about four centimeters long, wanted to pay tribute to the species data bank. Jorunna Artsdatabankia It was confused with another naked snail, but closer examination showed that it was an entirely separate species.

Naked snails Jorunna Artsdatabankia

This is Jorunna typesdatabankia and got its name to honor the types data bank. It is very similar to another alloy, but differs slightly in appearance and has a different digestive system, among other things.

Image: Species databases

Several species are threatened with extinction

At the same time that new species are constantly being discovered, the percentage at risk of extinction is also increasing.

Human encroachment and climate change threaten many species. Twice the number of species threatened by climate change than six years ago.

Last year, wild salmon and wild reindeer ended up on the Species Data Bank’s red list.

millennium beetle bituberculatum

This beetle was found by chance by researchers from Trondheim who examined an anthill under a rock in Risør. A new species in Norway where it had not been found north of Öland and Jutland before.

Photo: Arnstein Staverløkk/Norwegian Institute of Natural History

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