Are you interested in the ins and outs of how organisms are related to each other? The Map of Life has recently discovered a new ‘explorer’ tool that allows fascinating adventures amid the winding branches of the Tree of Life. You can find out for yourself at OneZoom.org and we especially recommend a visit if you are interested in getting lost in plant, bird or mammal evolution for these are the main focus. An exciting new project and a great tool for highlighting many of the convergences detailed on the Map of Life.
Thinking of the Tree of Life reminds us to flag up the various illustrated Tree of Life diagrams that you will find at the Map of Life. You can click to these helpful illustrations of organism relationships at the bottom of every page on the Map of Life. Do take a peek at http://www.mapoflife.org/about/tree_of_life/
You’ll find beautifully illustrated diagrams (‘trees’) showing the relationships among plants, animals, eukaryotes (everything with a nucleus) and an overall tree for all living things. Enjoy!
Within many of the Map of Life topics you will find tree of life diagrams as well, summarising where the convergence occurs and just how distantly related are the organisms being reported. For example if you have ever wondered why desert plants look amazingly similar in the Americas and in Africa, or ever mistaken an Agave for an Aloe (easily done!) then head over to our topic on “Succulent desert plants“. There you’ll find lots of info on these marvellous plants and a tree diagram showing where in the plant tree of life they fit in.