There’s a new, fractally constructed tree of life—with dates of the nodes—called OneZoom, and you must have a look at it. It was created by Dr. Yan Wong (who helped write The Ancestor’s Tale with Richard Dawkins) and Dr. James Rosindell; Luke Harmon contributed to the original idea. The background and methods are explained on a page you can access by clicking on the magnifying glass at the lower right-hand corner of each searched page, or go here. It’s still a work in progress, and you can help the tree grow by sponsoring a leaf. The project is a charity, so your donations are tax free.
This just went up yesterday, and it’s already so extensive that, I’m told, if you printed the whole thing out it would be seven times larger than the solar system! I can’t vouch for that, but the fractal design is certainly impressive. Click on the screenshot below to get started, and remember these instructions:
Each leaf represents a different species and the branches show how they are related through evolution.
This tree of life is explored like you would a map, just zoom in to your area of interest to reveal further details.
To zoom you can use a touch screen (if you have one) or scroll up (zoom in) and down (zoom out) on your mouse or trackpad.
The search icon (second from the left) gives you an easy way to search or go straight to popular areas of the tree.
The location icon (third from the left) shows you which part of the tree of life you are looking at in the context of all life on earth.
If a leaf is coloured red this means the species it represents is known to be threatened with extinction.
Leaves with a dotted outline represent parts of the tree that are not filled out yet, if you sponsor one of the species in this part of the tree we will expand the tree to include your species.
Here’s one example you can use. Click to stop the zoom, and use your mouse or touchpad to get to clickable icons.
For example, go to the mallard (here) to see the full capabilities of the system.
Finally, there’s a special version to accompany The Ancestor’s Tale, with all the common ancestors between Homo sapiens and other species numbered.