Sofia Costa studied the most abundant animal on the planet
CBMA researcher Sofia Costa is co-author of the first global analysis of world’s most abundant creatures plublished in the journal Nature. This study is the first to map the global distribution of soil nematodes, tiny creatures also known as roundworms. They make up an estimated four fifths of all terrestrial animals and play a critical role in soil nutrient cycling, plant growth and the climate.
The study reveals that the majority of the world’s animals live in high latitudes: 38.7% of soil nematodes exist in boreal forests and tundra across North America, Scandinavia and Russia; 24.5% in temperate regions; and only 20.5% in the tropics and sub-tropics. It also calculates that the world’s population of soil nematodes is far greater than previously estimated, with 57 billion for every single human. They have a total biomass of around 300 million tonnes – approximately 80% of the combined weight of Earth’s human population of 7.7 billion people.
This study was highlighted in several national media (portuguese only): SIC notícias, SAPO24, among others. You can listen to a short interview on RUM. (portuguese only)
Access here the research paper