Monday, 3 December 2012
Zooming around the Tree of Life
This morning, whilst feeding the cats, I came across the very fun - and educational - OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer, described in a PLoS Blog article, Fractaltastic Evolution. Currently, it only has mammals and amphibians but it will grow. Birds are next and plans are afoot to use Open Tree of Life data to extend it to 2 million species (or maybe more by then).
It has lots of nice features, including different views, threats of extinction from the IUCN Red List and dates of divergence. The latter can be used to run a "Growth Animation" timeline, which is another useful tool for trying to grasp evolutionary timescales. I can feel some OneZoom-inspired MapTime TimeLines coming on when time allows.