Tree of life or Universal Tree of Life is a metaphor, model and research tool used to explore the evolution of life and describe the relationships between organisms, both living and extinct, as described in a famous passage in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859).
The affinities of all the beings of the same class have some-
times been represented by a great tree. I believe this simile
largely speaks the truth. — Charles Darwin
Tree diagrams originated in the medieval era to represent genealogical relationships. Phylogenetic tree diagrams in the evolutionary sense date back to at least the early 19th century. The term phylogeny for the evolutionary relationships of species through time was coined by Ernst Haeckel, who went further than Darwin in proposing phylogenic histories of life.
In contemporary usage, tree of life refers to the compilation of comprehensive phylogenetic databases rooted at the last universal common ancestor of life on Earth. The Open Tree of Life, first published 2015, is a project to compile such a database for free public access. — Wikipedia
Taxonomy is the science of defining and naming groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped together into taxa (singular: taxon) and these groups are given a taxonomic rank; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a super-group of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy. The principal ranks in modern use are domain, kingdom, phylum (division is sometimes used in botany in place of phylum), class, order, family, genus and species. The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus is regarded as the father of taxonomy, as he developed a system known as Linnaean taxonomy for categorization of organisms and binomial nomenclature for naming organisms.
With the advent of such fields of study as phylogenetics, cladistics, and systematics, the Linnaean system has progressed to a system of modern biological classification based on the evolutionary relationships between organisms, both living and extinct. — Wikipedia
Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolutionary processes that produced the diversity of life on Earth, starting from a single common ancestor. These processes include natural selection, common descent, and speciation.
The discipline emerged through what Julian Huxley called the modern synthesis (of the 1930s) of understanding from several previously unrelated fields of biological research, including genetics, ecology, systematics and paleontology. — Wikipedia
Computational phylogenetics is the application of computational algorithms, methods, and programs to phylogenetic analyses. The goal is to assemble a phylogenetic tree representing a hypothesis about the evolutionary ancestry of a set of genes, species, or other taxa. For example, these techniques have been used to explore the family tree of hominid species and the relationships between specific genes shared by many types of organisms. Traditional phylogenetics relies on morphological data obtained by measuring and quantifying the phenotypic properties of representative organisms, while the more recent field of molecular phylogenetics uses nucleotide sequences encoding genes or amino acid sequences encoding proteins as the basis for classification. Many forms of molecular phylogenetics are closely related to and make extensive use of sequence alignment in constructing and refining phylogenetic trees, which are used to classify the evolutionary relationships between homologous genes represented in the genomes of divergent species. — Wikipedia
The Open Tree of Life
Synthesis of phylogeny and taxonomy into a comprehensive tree of life (Hinchliff, Cody E., et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
Automated assembly of a reference taxonomy for phylogenetic data synthesis (J. Rees & K. Cranston, Biodiversity Data Journal)
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Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.
Life Cell, Gene, Tree of Life
Plant Flower, Tree
Invertebrate Cuttlefish, Octopus, Ant, Bee, Butterfly, Spider, Lobster
Vertebrate Fish, Seahorse, Ray, Shark, Frog, Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Bat, Rabbit, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Whale, Dolphin, Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human