How Many Different Kinds of Animals Are There?

If Noah took a pair of every animal on earth aboard his ark, then that boat must have been big indeed! For the number of different kinds of animals, or species, is higher than you’d ever imagine.

The class of animals that human beings belong to, the mammals, includes close to 5,000 species. The number of birds is over 15,000. There are more than 3,000 kinds of snakes, and 300 kinds of turtles.

The mollusk family, which includes sea animals like the clam, has more than 100,000 members, while the lobster and crab family has over 20,000. There are some 15,000 species of protozoans, or one-celled animals, but the record for the number of different species is held by insects, with well over 750,000!

The best estimate is that there are at least three million different kinds of animals on earth!


  1. Me says

    If ‘god’ is so ‘omniponent and all powerful’….why did it supposedly take 6 days to create the universe? And on the 7th day, did he plop on a lay-z-boy and say “Whew! I’m beat! I need a rest.”

  2. OfCourseI'mRight says

    Any evidence we have that points toward evolution is entirely influenced by biased individuals who conduct their research with it already in mind that we evolved. This means its obvious they will “find” evidence that points towards evolution, and I guarentee you if researches deliberately went into the field with the preconceived idea that we were created they would find evidence to support it.
    One more thing worth adding, I’ve been told by atheists God does not exist (in any form) and he is basing this off all the fossil records. I’d like to just say, it is amazing the bible was written by men and is therefore hogwash, but these fossil records that no one has ever really seen with their own eyes, only artists (creative) depictions of them or recreated versions of what the fossils might have looked like whole. And this, although being based only off what people in white coats tell them, is the almighty, undeniable, unargueable and totally factual truth. That is a complete double standard and only deserving of the lowest intellectual merit. These people that use this as proof that God doesn’t exist are as blind and manipulated as anyone who follows a religion based only off what their preacher tells them.

  3. Jef says

    The article says, “The mollusk family, which includes sea animals like the clam, has more than 100,000 members, while the lobster and crab family has over 20,000.”, but I don’t think Noah would have bothered to take any sea animals on the ark, would he? Or am I overlooking something?

  4. Joman says

    The was no need to take water since it rained so much.
    Mechanisms could have allowed flushing, replenishing and evacuation of stale air etc… daily. Most animals probably hiberated.
    So there was no weight issue. Which was obvious anyway since water by volume outweights all cretures, foods, and grains, and whatnot, and the wood of the ark was no as heavy as steel and possibly bouyant
    There were no mountains like today since the great mountains of today are all obviously the result of horizontal compression forces converted to vertical uplift as opposed to notions of magic mountain growing forces hidden in the earth.
    The highest mountains of the world exhibit sedimentary layers and bent ones at that.
    The Pacific Ocean floor appears to have dropped dramatically, trapped the melted rock in the middle and popped a pimple called the Hawaiian islands dead center, which certainly isn’t a coincidental thing given the vast size of that ocean.
    The ring of fire proves that magmas and fractured surface rocks were created as a ring as the missing former plate fell and all the continents adjusted by moving toward the vacated space and ground to a halt producing the mountains we see now that align as proof.
    A 4o,ooo mile mid ocean ridge line and the Genesis mention of the breaking up of the fountains of the deep surely isn’t a 4,4oo year old coincidence either.
    And there is no history of language formation which is extremely odd since writing it down and talking about it would be the main topic for quite some time. Especially if anyone really supposed that 7,ooo language groups were all involved in competition…and with none of them simply accepting the first one, nor any others? And now no one can create a new language without cheating and stumbling around begging for help?
    I suspect that eye witness testimony will always trump biased storytelling based on remant evidences and artifacts of the past, and so, the Holy Bible is superior source of actual knowledge and fact about ancient things.

  5. Owen says

    I highly doubt that only “air-breathing creatures” would be harmed by a global flood. Fungi and plants aren’t going to survive a year submerged in water, even as seeds or spores. Mark also had a good point. The water probably would have ended up brackish, which would have killed pretty much every aquatic organism on earth. Yes, there are brackish adapted species, but brackish water is almost always found in shallow salt marshes. Brackish species adapted to deep water are pretty much nonexistant. So yes, noah would probably have to bring fish, whales and other cetaceans, mollusks, crustaceans, protists, flatworms, algae species, deep-sea bacteria and archaea, fish, aquatic worms… etc. etc. Which just raises the question, how much freshwater would he have had to bring exactly? How much salt water? How much mud for mollusks? And most importantly, how exactly was he able to provide 11,000 + psi water pressure for the unique deep sea genera?
    Taking this into account, it seems that Noah would have had to bring pretty much EVERYTHING alive, with the exception of terrestrial bacteria, water resistant plants, a handful of brackish species, and some of the tougher extremophiles and protists.

  6. NickPhD says

    Religion is simply ridiculous. Science is slowly exposing the holes in the Bible BUT people with faith will believe anything they are told. Those of you who think rationally and without faith (because for some of us faith alone is simply not enough), relax-Christians who preach and try to convert you are irritating, yes, but they mean no harm. I am a scientist and have a very good understanding of evolution and the BBT. If you truly understand it (which I understand is out of many peoples grasp, especially if they have been programmed from childhood to simple believe the bible and not question), these theories are so clearly correct, it is impossible to deny them. BUT there will be resistance from the church and the followers as there was when Galileo hypothesized that the earth was round. In 100 years time I believe that evolution and the big bang theory will be as accepted as truth as the world being round, however Christians will find excuses to work around these facts in order to be loved unconditionally. By a God who got so much wrong in the biography of the world he created. Who will send his children, good people, to a fiery pit of despair for not believing him.

  7. Mike says

    I’m sorry NickPhD but you are a little incorrect. Galileo faced resistance from the church because he believed in heliocentrism. In other words, he believed that the Earth was not the center of the solar system but in fact the sun was. The controversy arose because in some passages of the Bible the authors referenced the sun as if it were moving and the
    Earth was stationary, not to mention the fact that it seems to assume that we Are the center of the universe. This can be seen when Joshua states that the Sun “stood still.” In actuality, if this truly happened it would have been the earth that stood still (I’m not here to talk about the likelihood of this actually occurring.) Galileo adopted the understanding of Augustine who believed that passages of the bible should not always be taken literally. In the instance with the sun standing still, it would have appeared to the people on Earth that the sun had stood still, however, in actuality the earth stopped. One might argue that everyone would have died if the earth stopped moving but this is a foolish argument given that you are dealing with the assumption that there is a God capable of stopping the Earth. He could easily stop it from having an effect.

  8. john graham says

    There’s the issue of how many animals the boat needed to carry.

    Some problematic examples:
    – 400,000 different species of beetle
    – 4,500 different species of cockroach
    – 40,000 different species of spider
    – 10,000 different species of bird

    Then there’s the issue of feeding these animals for 1 year, for example, the lion needs a minimum of 4000 pounds of meat over 1 year

    Another problem, is 8 people removing the phenomenal quantities of animal poo excreted each day.

  9. Goat says

    There’s some incredibly deranged people about. Get a grip! Existential nihilism – that is all, deal with it and get over yourself!

    P.S. What happened to all the water if Earth was completely covered by it?

  10. tom says

    I think the question was how many different kinds of animals are there, not species. which means birds are a kind, u don’t need every bird with in that kind, just birds, that’s 1 kind. in the end, there is about 15000 kinds of animals.

  11. tom says

    in response to where did all the water go, first, if u read the creation account ull notice that there was water on the earth and a layer of water above the earth. God separated the water that was under the firmament (atmosphere) from the water that was above the firmament. which explains why it rained for 40 days and nights if the layer of water around the earth collapsed, which if the then earth has a lot less water on it than there is today, the water didn’t go anywhere, there is just more of it now than there was before the flood. plus some of it is frozen, which it wouldn’t have been before since a layer of water would create a green house effect making the planet warm everywhere. somewhat cooler at poles of course. which is why they find palm leaves and animals at the poles with green food still in their stomach frozen. in order for no decomposition to happen that animal has to be frozen within hours. the only thing that could do that is something from space that is much colder than anything on earth. so if a meteor hit earth, causes the collapse of the water layer, and instantly froze any animal in the vicinity of the impact, makes total sense. this is a theory and not proven fact.

  12. Leah Biggs says

    Oh my goodness. Such a lot of time spent debating something that doesn’t really matter now, and more importantly, isn’t moving the world forward in any sort of productive direction. THIS is what is wrong with how we spend our time in the world today, me included!

  13. JMS says

    It’s mythology, people. The earliest flood myth (of which there were several) was the Sumerian version found in the Epic of Ziusudra. Just like with the story of Noah, the pre-flood kings had enormous lifespans, whereas post-flood lifespans were much reduced. In the Mesopotamian version, some 2000 years B.C., the Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of how the god “Ea” instructed the immortal man to build a huge vessel in anticipation of a deity-created flood that would destroy the world. The vessel would save the man, his family, his friends, and the animals. (Sound familiar?) The Hindus also have a story of a great flood, where the first man “Manu” is instructed to build a boat. There’s also a Chinese flood myth, a Finnish flood myth, and a Mesoamerican myth (to name a few). The story of Noah isn’t original. It’s not even the first. (Whether you like hearing that or not.)

  14. traydogg says

    just because some one writes down a historical event before you do doesn’t render your account false. after the flood there were 8 people. Noah, his 3 sons and their 4 wives. when they had children they told them the story of the flood. that generation grow up they had kids and they told their children the story of the flood and so on and so on. over the years the story changed a little from tribe to tribe then nation to nation until the it’s all over the world . the fact that one person, family, tribe or nation wrote it down first doesn’t make the second, third, forth or fifth a plagiarist. it’s just that different people across the globe decided or were inspired to write the story down at different times. and maybe the details were lost in some versions but the core of the story is always the same. “God” or “The gods” were unhappy with man kind and flooded the world. only a hand full of people survived on an vessel with 2 of each kind of animal.

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