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Nov 01, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 19)

World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)

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Quick—get out a piece of paper and a pencil, and name as many marine species as you can. (There’s nothing like a good ol’ pop quiz, is there?) Did you find yourself getting stuck after whale, dolphin, and starfish? Then perhaps you should click over to WoRMS, which (oddly enough) is not about worms at all. Rather, this ambitious project—the World Register of Marine Species—aims to provide a comprehensive list of names of marine organisms that can be used to interpret taxonomic literature. The register currently contains 147,097 valid species names, but the goal is to obtain all of the estimated 230,000 marine species by next year. Visitors can search WoRMS by either common or scientific name to find the taxon details for that species. Even if you have no interest in oceanic taxonomy, there is a great photo gallery of various species (though nowhere near 147,097 of them).

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*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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