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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

a new Tree of Life

a new Tree of Life

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, September 23, 2015/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, birds, marine mammals, marine life, sustainability, art and design, environment, plants

A Tree of Life from the Norse Sagas  (credit: Wiki-commons)

In one form or another, the Tree of Life  is a common symbol in most if not all of the worlds religious traditions. All "trees" attempt to tell an 'origin story' of one sort or another. Biology is no exception and compiling all living organisms into a correct evolutionary "tree" has been like the Holy Grail of the science of life. However, this has been a very daunting task considering at least 2.3 million species are known to live on Earth so far.

Publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ), researchers at the University of Michigan and elsewhere have now compiled
a comprehensive tree-of-life. Their study is the first to apply an efficient and automated process for combining existing trees into a complete assemblage. The new tree and all related open-source data is available to download online. The new digital version of the Tree can be updated as new data becomes available.

               
                                                      New Open-source Tree of Life  (credit: PNAS)

The complete article is available  here  but a short video explains the importance and utility of the new construct:



Wouldn't you like to know where you sit on the Tree of Life?

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