Visually stunning tree of all known life unveiled online

The tree of life explorer has leaves that are coloured according to extinction risk and a spiral view. OneZoom is a credit.

All life on Earth, its evolutionary history, and how much of it is threatened with extinction can be explored at OneZoom.

The OneZoom explorer is the closest thing to a single view of all species known to science. The interactive tree of life allows users to zoom in to any species and explore its relationships with others, in a seamless visualization on a single web page. The explorer has images of over 85,000 species.

OneZoom was developed by Imperial College London and the University of Oxford. In a paper published today in Methods in Ecology and Evolution, Drs Wong and Rosindell present the result of over ten years of work, gradually creating what they consider to be "the Google Earth of biology".

Big data is beautiful.

Dr. Wong, from the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford, said: "We've created something beautiful by combining new data processing and visualization techniques with big data gathered from multiple sources." It allows people to see how evolutionary history connects golden moles and giant sequoias to create a giant tree of life on Earth.

The Department of Life Sciences at Imperial hopes to send a powerful message by making the tree easy to explore for everyone.

The OneZoom tree of life explorer has leaves that are coloured according to extinction risk and aspiral view of the tree. The tree of life is represented by a leaf. OneZoom is a credit.

The leaves of the tree are green for not threatened, red for threatened, and black for recently extinct. Most of the leaves on the tree are grey, meaning they have not been evaluated, or scientists don't have enough data to know their extinction risk. Only a tiny fraction of the species described by science have been studied.

There is still a lot of research to be done. It would have been impossible to combine existing data and build the OneZoom tree of life by hand.

All available.

The OneZoom explorer is free to download and use by educational institutions because it is configured to work with touchscreens.

No museum or zoo can hold all of the two million species that can be seen. Visitors can connect with the plight of all Earth's species with our tool. Many venues will be interested in using it to complement their existing displays now that the project is complete.

The aim of the OneZoom charity is to advance the education of the public in the subjects of evolution, biodiversity and conserve of the variety of life on Earth.

The OneZoom tree of life explorer has leaves that are green and a view of the 'fern' view of the tree. The Christmas tree worm is a marine worm with two appendages that are used for feeding and breathing. OneZoom is a credit.

Each leaf on the tree is available for sponsorship, allowing anyone to 'adopt' a species, and enabling OneZoom to continue their mission. More than 800 leaves have been sponsored by individuals and selected organizations, many with personal messages of how they feel connected to the preservation of nature.

The tree of life is a tour.

The team have integrated the tree with data from the Wikipedia project to reveal the popularity of every species. The grey wolf is the second most popular animal, but it has swapped places a few times with humans.

Cannabis comes out on top, followed by cabbage, potato, and coconut. Sport fishing species include salmon and trout.

The team hope to create tours and experiences of species connected in imaginative new ways, such as tours of iridescent animals, or even species named after celebrities. They have created a screen capture tool that can be used to save and share user-generated tours.

OneZoom is a new way to appreciate evolutionary history and the beauty of life on Earth.

More information about the OneZoom project, Methods in Ecology and Evolution. There is a DOI: 10.1111 2041-210X. 13766.

Methods in ecology and evolution are in a journal.

The tree of all known life was unveiled online on December 14th, 2021.

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