Life Has a History

These are some of the living things on this planet.

Mosaic of life

Remember that the living things in this picture are only a tiny part of all the life on Earth. There may be as many as thirty million kinds of living things on Earth!

How big is thirty million?

  • About thirty million people now live in the largest city in the world.

  • When you are 57 years old, you will have lived for about thirty million minutes.

  • If you filled up a shoe box with Cheerios™ and milk, you would need about fifteen thousand shoeboxes to hold thirty million Cheerios™! (You'd also have a mess!)


Snail (Partula taeniata) © Carole Hickman, UCMP; Ferns (Blechnum spicant) © Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College; Spider (Lactrodectus mactans) by George W. Robinson, © 1999 California Academy of Sciences; Mushrooms (Armillaria mellea) by Dr. Robert Thomas and Margaret Orr, © 2001 California Academy of Sciences; Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru) Eugene Weber © 2001 California Academy of Sciences; Oak tree (Quercus durata) by J.E. (Jed) and Bonnie McClellan © 2005 California Academy of Sciences; Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) by Gerald and Buff Corsi, © 2002 California Academy of Sciences; Flower (Fritillaria pudica) by Gerald and Buff Corsi, © 1999 California Academy of Sciences