Modern day biologists have claimed to list around 1.3 million species of life on earth.
They agree that this is a small number and still many species are yet to be discovered, named and listed.
Everyday, about 15000 new species are being discovered and they estimate that earth may be habitating between 8 to 8.7 million species with life.
Padama Purana (written around 5000 years ago in Ancient India by Veda Vyas) states that Earth has 8.4 million different species with life.
But this number could be reduced today as many species have become extinct and population among other species (mostly humans) have increased.
Just as Bhagavadgita says (in chapter 2.22) that just as one gives up an old shirt to put on a new one, the soul gives up an old body to acquire a new kind of a body (vasāmsi jirnāni yathā vihāya).
All the shapes, sizes of these species (including humans) will be decided by Manu (the one who rules creation for a certain time period). In present Sweta Varaha Kalpa, 7th is Vaivasvat Manu, who designed our body structures. In another manvantara, humans and animals may look different.
A soul can take birth in any form of life out of the 8.4 million and many might have attained human form, which is stated as the ultimate one on earth.
Classification of Species on Earth
Padama Purana also mentions about different classifications among these 8.4 million species with life on earth :
jalaja nava lakshani, sthavara laksha-vimshati, krimayo rudra-sankhyakah, pakshinam dasha-lakshanam, trinshal-lakshani pashavah, chatur lakshani manavah
- Jalaja (Water based) – 0.9 million
- Sthaavara (immobile, like plants & trees) – 2.0 million
- Krimaayo (Reptiles) – 1.1 million
- Pakshinaam (Birds) – 1.0 million
- Paashavah (terrestrial animals) – 3.0 million
- Maanavah (human-like animals, including human species) – 0.4 million
Total number of species with life are 8.4 million.
Modern day scientists have not been able to discover even 16% of what ancient seers knew.
Kannada dasara pada of more than 500 years old says :
Translation : Our human body evolved out of 8.4 million species.