Jennifer Zampese, of Greymouth High School, asks :-
Kimberly Stuart, of Otago Girl's High School, asked:-
Are there any kinds of animals we haven't discovered yet?
David Bellamy, a British biologist and ecologist, responded.
Yes it would be relatively easy to find a new species of animal in your back garden. All you would need to do is have a world expert in one of the lesser known groups of animals come on a visit. Dr Valerie Standen, a great friend of mine, is the expert on pot worms which are tiny relatives of the earth worms. Everywhere she goes she finds new ones.
Another way is when new research is carried out on well known species. Recent work in Britain has shown that our commonest bat is two or perhaps three different species, not one as we have always thought.
Last year scientists found a tiny animal living on the whisker of a lobster. It was a member of a new phylum, a group of animals of the importance of the mammals or the molluscs. Wow, just think what may be lurking in your back yard or on the beach, available for any expert to recognise.
That's why I like being a biologist. The world is full of fascinating things. I hope you will be an expert one day. Thank you for caring. Look after New Zealand, it's a very special place.