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TimeTree is a public knowledge-base for information on the evolutionary timescale of life. Data from thousands of published studies are assembled into a .
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Grasping the tree of life: There is an app for that, too

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Citations Publications citing this paper. Estimating divergence times in large molecular phylogenies. Recent progress in paleontological methods for dating the Tree of Life Michel Laurin. The evolutionary history of life includes two primary components: phylogeny and timescale. Phylogeny refers to the branching order relationships of species or other taxa within a group and is crucial for understanding the inheritance of traits and for erecting classifications.

However, a timescale is equally important because it provides a way to compare phylogeny directly with the evolution of other organisms and with planetary history such as geology, climate, extraterrestrial impacts, and other features. The Timetree of Life is the first reference book to synthesize the wealth of information relating to the temporal component of phylogenetic trees. In the past, biologists have relied exclusively upon the fossil record to infer an evolutionary timescale.

However, recent revolutionary advances in molecular biology have made it possible to not only estimate the relationships of many groups of organisms, but also to estimate their times of divergence with molecular clocks. The routine estimation and utilization of these so-called 'time-trees' could add exciting new dimensions to biology including enhanced opportunities to integrate large molecular data sets with fossil and biogeographic evidence and thereby foster greater communication between molecular and traditional systematists.

They could help estimate not only ancestral character states but also evolutionary rates in numerous categories of organismal phenotype; establish more reliable associations between causal historical processes and biological outcomes; develop a universally standardized scheme for biological classifications; and generally promote novel avenues of thought in many arenas of comparative evolutionary biology.

This authoritative reference work brings together, for the first time, experts on all major groups of organisms to assemble a timetree of life. The result is a comprehensive resource on evolutionary history which will be an indispensable reference for scientists, educators, and students in the life sciences, earth sciences, and molecular biology. For each major group of organism, a representative is illustrated and a timetree of families and higher taxonomic groups is shown.

Basic aspects of the evolutionary history of the group, the fossil record, and competing hypotheses of relationships are discussed. Details of the divergence times are presented for each node in the timetree, and primary literature references are included.

Grasping the tree of life: There is an app for that, too | EurekAlert! Science News

The book is complemented by an online database www. His research explores the connections between biological evolution and Earth history in diverse groups of organisms and time periods. His research interests are in molecular evolution and bioinformatics. Reviews Review Policy. Published on.

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More related to biology. See more. Book 4. Since the s, a renewed understanding of molecular development has afforded an unprecedented level of knowledge of the mechanisms by which phenotype in animals and plants has evolved. In this volume, top scientists in these fields provide perspectives on how molecular data in biology help to elucidate key questions in estimating paleontological divergence and in understanding the mechanisms behind phenotypic evolution.

Paleobiological questions such as genome size, digit homologies, genetic control cascades behind phenotype, estimates of vertebrate divergence dates, and rates of morphological evolution are addressed, with a special emphasis on how molecular biology can inform paleontology, directly and indirectly, to better understand life's past. Highlighting a significant shift towards interdisciplinary collaboration, this is a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in the integration of organismal and molecular biology.

The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics.