The Encyclopedia and Tree of Life

These are two sites that caught my eye about 2 weeks ago, and I’ve been meaning to write about them – I just haven’t found the time until now.

The first site is the Encyclopedia of Life. The EoL aims to make “all key information about all life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.” It’s a great site to just browse around – and its especially good if you happen to be researching the American Burying Beetle or the Green Anole.

StephanidaeAnother site in a similar vein is the Tree of Life. the current highlighted species is the Stephanidae; how awesomely mean does that thing look?! This site is equally awesome to just browse around in and check stuff out. At first this site might look like the same thing as the EoL, but it’s a bit different. Instead of gathering/providing information about each individual species, this site’s goal is to show how all of the species relate to each other. In its own words, “the project provides information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their evolutionary history (phylogeny), and characteristics.”

Also cool – the sites share info between each other. The Tree of Life project is listed on the EoL’s Data Partner page.

While these sites are still fairly young, I’m excited that my daughter will have such rich resources to pull from during her upcoming years at school. I barely had computers when I was in middle school – I’m willing to bet that my daughter will barely have libraries!

photo from:
Aguiar, Alexandre P. 2005. Stephanoidea Benoit, 1949. Stephanidae Leach, 1815. Version 29 June 2005. in The Tree of Life Web Project,

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