Saturday, October 24, 2015

'Tree of life' for 2.3 million species released

"A first draft of the "tree of life" for the roughly 2.3 million named species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes—from platypuses to puffballs—has been released.

"A collaborative effort among eleven institutions, the tree depicts the relationships among living things as they diverged from one another over time, tracing back to the beginning of life on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago.

"Tens of thousands of smaller  have been published over the years for select branches of the tree of life—some containing upwards of 100,000 species—but this is the first time those results have been combined into a single tree that encompasses all of life. The end result is a digital resource that available free online for anyone to use or edit, much like a "Wikipedia" for evolutionary trees."
You don't need a complete census of species and complete tree with all the millions of species represented to get a pretty good idea of what the complete tree will  look like."

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