Seas Yield a Bounty of Species

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Science  25 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5325, pp. 487
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5325.487

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Concerns that a wave of marine extinctions may be occurring has made more pressing the question of how many species inhabit the seas. Only about 275,000 marine species have actually been described. But new estimates suggest that coral reefs alone may support at least 1 million species, and the deep sea floor, once thought to be barren, may be home to another 10 million species.