This beautiful interactive tree of life was created by Evogeneao with the single purpose of demonstrating that all organisms on earth are related. The message of the authors goes “we are related not only to every living thing but also to everything that has ever lived on Earth.” The tree traces hundreds of millions of generations, back to the start of life on Earth. The diagram helps to easily trace human origins all the way back to ancient bacteria. You will be astonished at the complexity of relations and how close you are to species you didn’t even suspect you could relate to.
The creators of the map admit there are several deliberate distortions. The most significant of which is designing the tree from a mammalian point of view. This approach helps simplify the map and make it more user-friendly and easier to understand. It’s because the genetic diversity of bacteria is much greater and there are quite a lot more bacteria than there are mammals. That would make the relations difficult to visualize. Yet, it provides a general sense of the relationships between large groups, such as between mammals and fungi.
The creators also point out that “Every living thing, whether it’s a bird, a tree, or a dinosaur, is your xth cousin, n times removed.”
Once we understand and embrace this concept, the way we look at the environment and all living creatures would drastically change. We are all one big family and we all depend on each other.
Want to start the New Year with a little bit of perspective? Take a look at this beautiful interactive tree of life diagram created by Evogeneao, which enables you to see how all organisms on earth are related, from humans all the way to ancient bacteria.