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)




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)
Phylogenetics (Science Daily)
Phylogenetics (Science News)



Phylogenetics (


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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.