I've made this point numerous times before, but it bears repeating: Eukaryotic diversity is NOT just the living things you see around you. Yes, everyone likes cute fuzzy animals and will acknowledge that plants and fungi are tasty and probably important, but that's about where people stop. Part of this is because of our tendency to stick with what we can observe and part is because it gets reinforced all the damn time! Even in places that should know better.
I bring this up again this morning because I happened to catch last night's episode of Cosmos, which was centered on evolution. I'm not a Cosmos fanboi and only new it was on because half my twitter feed was drooling in anticipation, but overall I enjoyed it. Sure, there were some odd things about the presentation of some facts, but they got way more right than wrong. As I said at the time, I thought the episode was infinitely more effective the Bill Nye's circus creationist debate. I loved the contrast between natural selection and artificial, and the deconstruction of the Too Complex argument. They unquestionably targeted fav hobby horses of the creationist movement and broke them down, one after the other.
BUT. That freakin' "Tree of Life" (which was conveniently pictured on a real tree, as if the metaphor needed to be sold any harder). As Dr. Tyson's voice over discussed all the diversity of life and complex forms, we were treated to one animal after another popping out of each branch. At the end they added one plant and one mushroom, just to cover the bases.
This isn't a new problem, not at all. In fact, 96% of described species are animals, land plants or fungi. However, if you look at the DNA present in all sorts of different environmental samples, those lineages only account for about 24% of the actual eukaryotic organisms present. While we really like to describe new species of beetles and butterflies, we're often ignoring the majority of what is out there and usually of the more critical players of an ecosystem.
So the next time someone says they looked at something "in a huge variety of eukaryotes, from mice to YEAST!" ask them when they plan to look at the remaining 90% of eukaryotic diversity.