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Scientists at work in Panama jungle

Copenhagen scientists had to scale the trees and work from a crane in the Panama jungle. See our photo gallery

Scientists need to discover the exact number of species present on our planet.

Each day, species become extinct before they are discovered. But, an international research team with participating employees from The Natural History Museum and University of Copenhagen are changing that. The results have just been published in the world-renowned scientific journal Science.

Using a smart calculating method and careful work, researchers have been able to count the vast majority of animals in a lowland rain forest in Panama.

See the photos of the scientists up in the jungle of Panama here.

This planet: 6.1 million species

Previous studies have only examined individual groups of arthropods, or only focused on individual layers of the forest floor. In this new study, over 100 researchers carefully collected animals from the forest floor to the top of the canopy.

Using the number found, they were able to get an accurate estimate of species richness for the whole planet, at around 6.1 million species.

The collected material is very large, and many hours of work remain to uncover new species before they reach extinction.

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