World’s Largest Tree Of Life Visualizes 50,000 Species Over Time

Temple University researchers recently put together the world’s largest tree of life visualized across time. The family tree of living and extinct organisms encompasses 50,000 species—only a fraction of the world’s history of life—and would easily take up hundreds of pages if laid out linearly. To fit their work onto a printed page, the researchers, led by evolutionary biologist S. Blair Hedges, instead decided to visualize the data as a spiral.