Although animals do go extinct frequently, since it is impossible to survey all ecosystems all the time, we probably won’t know about very recent extinctions for a while. For example, it took a six-week search for scientists to conclude that the Chinese river dolphin called the baiji is for all practical purposes extinct, and we still don’t know for sure tha there isn’t a single one left. And considering the immense amount of species we are still discovering–16,969 species in 2006!–it is likely that many go extinct without us ever knowing about them.
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