I found a paper estimating the number of species currently living on earth. Now I'm wondering If anybody tried to estimate the number of species that have lived on earth. I'm familiar with problems of "species concepts". But I'm sure, there is at least a number of all known fossils.

EDIT: In contrast to the question How many organisms have ever lived on Earth? I'm asking for species and not for individuals. The answer to my question can be used to ansewer the queston for the number of organisms. But still, The questions is different.

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    $\begingroup$ Did you read the answer to the linked question? I believe it adequately describes the problems with estimating the number of species (along with the number of individuals) that have ever existed on Earth, and gives some links for further reading. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Jan 14 '14 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ See the answer to the linked question $\endgroup$ – rg255 Jan 14 '14 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ In my opinion, as it is, it is not fair to mark this question as a duplicate, because it doesn't duplicate any other question (even though there is an answer to this question in another question). My more practical suggestion is to 1) reword the linked question just like this question or 2) transfer shigeta's answer here. I like the wording of this question better, because I don't see how would the number of individuals that have lived on Earth be of any use to someone, it would be impossible to comprehend such a number. Species is a more interesting wording. $\endgroup$ – Th334 Jan 14 '14 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ It's patently incorrect to mark this as a duplicate. The distinction is huge--species number versus individual number (which is 1 and 8 billion, respectively, for humans). Someone so empowered should remove that designation, because it discourages answers. $\endgroup$ – Plantaloons Oct 25 '16 at 16:07

A quote from a Discovery movie:

Scientists have estimated that over the course of Earth's history, anywhere between 1 and 4 billion species have existed on this planet.

I know, I know... sorry. I hope someone has the original research, but in case no one does, or if you are just curious, and Discovery is fine for you, I decided to share what I know for the time being.

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