Animalia · Bio · Design · Human-ities · Science

Tree of life

With the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection’ on the 24th November 1859, Charles Darwin not only explained how and why we have the diversity of life we see all around us, but also showed how all life is connected.

Since then we have continued to gather evidence from a range of different disciplines including physiology, biochemistry and DNA analysis. The evidence indicates that all organisms on Earth are genetically related, a genealogical relationship that can be represented as an evolutionary tree known as the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life illustrates how different species arise from previous species via descent with modification, and that all of life is connected. The diagram above shows the relationship between the major biological groups. The center represents the last universal ancestor of all life on earth, the outer branches the major biological groups.

The tree is based on research carried out by: David Hillis, Derrick Zwickl and Robin Gutell from the University of Texas. It is based on analysis of small sub-unit rRNA sequences sampled from about 3,000 species from throughout the Tree of Life.

Via BBC. Download a Tree of Life poster in .pdf format to print out and keep HERE

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