Tree of Life

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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. — Wikipedia

Tree of Life (Encyclopædia Britannica)



Gaia’s Greenhouse

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Gaia's Greenhouse SL



Articles about the Tree of Life (Big Think)




Phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary history and relationships among or within groups of organisms. These relationships are determined by phylogenetic inference methods that focus on observed heritable traits, such as DNA sequences, protein amino acid sequences, or morphology. The result of such an analysis is a phylogenetic tree—a diagram containing a hypothesis of relationships that reflects the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.– Wikipedia

Phylogenetics (Encyclopædia Britannica)

What is Phylogeny? (Tree of Life)
A View of All Known Life (One Zoom)
The Importance of Scientific Names (Catalogue of Life)




DDC: 572.838 Phylogenetic (Library Thing)
Subject: Phylogenetics (Library Thing)

Subject: Phylogenetics (Open Library)

LCC: QH 390 Phylogenetics (UPenn Online Books)
Subject: Phylogenetics (UPenn Online Books)

LCC: QH 390 Phylogenetics (Library of Congress)
Subject: Phylogenetics (Library of Congress)

Subject: Phylogenetics (WorldCat)




Science Trek (YouTube Channel)
Kingdoms (Science Trek, Official Website)

Tree of Life (Ology, American Museum of Natural History)
Journey Into Phylogenetic Systematics (Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley)

MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources



Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists (CareerOneStop, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration)


American Institute of Biological Sciences


Phylogenetics (bioRxiv: Preprint Server for Biology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)
Phylogenetics (EurekaAlert, American Association for the Advancement of Science)
Tree of Life (JSTOR)
Phylogenetics (Science Daily)
Phylogenetics (Science News)



Phylogenetics (


More News … - latest science and technology news stories internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Research suggests sentinel warning calls may be...
    on November 30, 2023 at 8:16 pm

    Animals often use vocalizations to warn of nearby danger to others. While this information is generally intended for members of the same species, other species can eavesdrop on the warnings to use the information for their own benefit. Sentinels are animals that have warning calls so widely understood by others that those other species will form groups with them, relying on the sentinels to provide warnings of danger.

  • Migratory songbird study finds link between white...
    on November 30, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    A new study of a migratory songbird shows that individuals with average-sized white tail spots—a trait that is critical to successful foraging—live longer than individuals with more extreme amounts of white in the tail.

  • A new bacterial species from a hydrothermal vent...
    on November 30, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are hot springs on the ocean floor. Sea water penetrates into the ocean crust, becomes heated, and rises to the seafloor surface carrying dissolved nutrients. Around these vents, far from any sunlight, vibrant biological communities are found. Here, microbes play the role of primary producers through chemosynthesis—similar to the role that plants play on land through photosynthesis.

  • Study solves mystery behind bacteria's extensive...
    on November 30, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    A new study led by the University of Oxford has shed light on why certain species of bacteria carry astonishing arsenals of weapons. The findings, published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, could help us to engineer microbes that can destroy deadly pathogens, reducing our reliance on antibiotics.

  • Why don't we see robotic civilizations rapidly...
    on November 29, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    In 1950, while sitting down to lunch with colleagues at the Los Alamos Laboratory, famed physicist and nuclear scientist Enrico Fermi asked his famous question: "Where is everybody?" In short, Fermi was addressing the all-important question that has plagued human minds since they first realized planet Earth was merely a speck in an infinite universe. Given the size and age of the universe and the way the ingredients for life are seemingly everywhere in abundance, why haven't we found any […]


Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.

Knowledge Realm

Terrestrial   (Earth)

Sphere Land, Ice, Water (Ocean), Air, Life (Cell, Gene)
Ecosystem Forest, Grassland, Desert, Arctic, Aquatic

Tree of Life
Microorganism Virus
Prokaryote Archaea, Bacteria
Eukaryote Protist, Fungi, Algae, Protozoa (Tardigrade)
Plant Flower, Tree
Cnidaria Coral, Jellyfish
Cephalopod Cuttlefish, Octopus
Crustacean Lobster, Shrimp
Arachnid Spider, Scorpion
Insect Ant, Bee, Beetle, Butterfly
Fish Seahorse, Ray, Shark
Amphibian Frog, Salamander
Reptile Turtle, Tortoise, Dinosaur
Bird Penguin, Ostrich, Owl, Crow, Parrot
Mammal Platypus, Bat, Mouse, Rabbit, Goat, Giraffe, Camel, Horse, Elephant, Mammoth
Walrus, Seal, Polar Bear, Bear, Panda, Cat, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Wolf
Cetacean Whale, Dolphin
Primate Monkey, Chimpanzee, Human


1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.