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THE TREE OF LIFE

EUKARYOTA
This domain includes all of the plants, animals, and fungi, and some single-celled organisms. Eukaryotes are distinguished by their complex cells, which contain a membrane-enclosed nucleus. Humans Homo sapiens
The creatures most familiar to us, animals, are members of the same kingdom. Mosquito Roundworm Red Junglefowl Mouse Chimpanzee

TAXONOMY

Pyrococcus furiosus
This species of Archaea, found in extremely hot conditions near hydrothermal vents, thrives at temperatures between 158F and 217F (70-100C). In addition to its unique habitat, P. furiosus is also unusual for having enzymes containing tungsten, a very rare element in living organisms.
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These single-celled prokaryotic organisms often live in extreme environmental conditions. Once considered to be Bacteria, these microorganisms are now recognized as a separate domain of life.

Drosophila melanogaster

ARCHAEA

Anopheles gambiae

Takifugu rubripes

Danio rerio

Gallus ga

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Animalia Fungi Amoebozoa Plantae Archaeplastida Chromalveolata Excavata

Pufferfish

Our species, primates in the Animalia kingdom of the Eukaryota, is thought to have first evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Genetically, our closest living relative is the chimpanzee.

BACTERIA
These single-celled prokaryotic organisms were among the first life forms to appear on Earth. Often spherical, rod-like, or spiral in shape, these microorganisms function without a membrane-enclosed cell nucleus.

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LAST UNIVERSAL COMMON ANCESTOR

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This phylogenetic tree of life uses genome sequencing data to map the relationships between 191 different species in the three domains of life: Eukaryota, Bacteria, and Archaea. All life on Earth shares one common ancestor, and is thought to include between 10 million and 30 million different species. http://itol.embl.de/

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF TAXONOMY


Taxonomy is the science of naming and classifying different life forms. Oral traditions of taxonomy predate writing and were first used when human ancestors described different food sources, predators, and medicinal or poisonous plants. The advent of writing enabled more detailed, recorded taxonomies.

1977
American microbiologist Carl Woese defines the Archaea as separate domain of life, introducing the three-domain system used today.

BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION
Scientists refer to a specific life form using its Genus and species classifications. This naming technique is called binomial nomenclature.

BCE

3000

2000

1000

1500

1600

1700

1800

1900

2000

3000 BCE
Chinese Emperor Shen Nung tests hundreds of herbs for medicinal value.

1500 BCE
Egyptian wall paintings and preserved scrolls classify different plant species by name.

384 - 322 BCE


Greek philosopher Aristotle launches the western tradition of taxonomy by classifying plants and animals by their size, habitat, and methods of reproduction.

1516 - 1565
Swiss scholar Conrad von Gesner publishes a five-volume compendium of then-known life forms in the 1550s.

1656 - 1708
French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort classifies about 9,000 species in 698 genera.

1707 - 1778
Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus publishes The System of Nature in 1735, becoming the father of modern taxonomy. Linnaeus placed humans among the primates and used binomial nomenclature to classify us as Homo sapiens.

Domain Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species

ASIAN ELEPHANT
Eukaryota Animalia Chordata Mammalia Proboscidea Elephantidae Elephas Maximus

Elephas maximus
GENUS SPECIES