Wednesday 18 May 2011

Life in Ponds and Gardens

I always enjoy stories like this in which a chance discovery increases our consciousness of the vast extent of our ignorance. This find may double the (known) diversity of fungi, of which we might have identified about 5 percent of species - while we're probably aware of as little as 1 percent of microbial diversity. It puts me in mind of Newton's remark about the great ocean of truth lying all undiscovered before him.
I also relish stories like this which show the extraordinary riches that are to be discovered simply by staying in one spot and looking really really hard at what is there - in this case, nearly 3,000 species in one ordinary suburban garden.

1 comment:

  1. Of the second story: "In the area of parasitic wasps (Ichneumonidae) alone, she discovered six species previously unknown to science." I think the rest of us have our work cut out!