Friday, July 29, 2016

Zoom Into OneZoom

I would like to thank Matt Ridley for directing me to OneZoom, a wonderful interactive phylogeny of life.  On OneZoom, one can begin at any branch or leaf on Charles Darwin's metaphorical Tree of Life, then increase or decrease the desired level of phylogenetic detail by simple mouse-click or finger-tap.

A 2012 PLOS Biology article by J. Rosindell and L.J. Harmon, entitled OneZoom: A Fractal Explorer for the Tree of Life, explains the concept behind this cool and addictive new evolutionary tool.

With OneZoom, one may explore any part of the tree of life, from an individual organism to a entire clade.  I recommend choosing your favourite lifeform as a starting point, then seeing where evolution leads you.  To adapt Ira and George Gershwin's cryptichthyic 1937 song Slap that Bass,
Click that bass
Click away your trouble
Learn to zoom zoom zoom
Click that bass
But beware:  once you dive into OneZoom, you may find it difficult to stop exploring biodiversity.