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The Linnaean enterprise is the task of identifying and describing all living species. It is named after Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, ecologist and physician who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of taxonomy.
As of 2006, the Linnaean enterprise is considered to be barely begun. There are estimated to be 10 million living species, but only about 1.5-1.8 million have been even named, and fewer than 1% of these have been studied enough to understand the basics of their ecological roles.
The cost of completing the Linnaean Enterprise has been estimated at US$ 5 billion.
- Edward O. Wilson, A Global Biodiversity Map, Science 29 September 2000: Vol. 289. no. 5488, p. 2279
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