Study estimates 8.7m species on Earth

Earth is home to 8.7m different species of plant and animals, according to the latest scientific estimates.

The study, which was published in the journal PLoS Biology, attempts to count and catalogue all known and unknown species in the natural world.

An estimated 86% of all plants and animals on land and 91% of all sea life are yet to be discovered.

Scientists have strived for decades to estimate the amount of plant and animal species in the world, with previous predictions ranging from 3m to 100m.

Commentators warned that the published figure was unlikely to be the final word, when there is still so much to discover.

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