Big Deal Media

K-12 Technology
PappCorn

Oct 01, 2021 2021-10-01

Mobile Learning

App Illustrating Evolutionary Relationships Among Living Beings

Developed by PappCorn, the Tree of Life app is an interactive and illustrated family-level phylogeny of living beings based on an integration of data from hundreds of published phylogenetic studies. Main groups of organisms—from bacteria to vertebrates—are displayed in the initial tree as collapsed branches that can be opened to view family-level relationships. More than 7,000 families are included in the current Android version. Users can zoom in or out to explore a huge tree. They can tap on pictures to see family details, such as common names, and access quick links to Wikipedia. They can collapse clades into single branches to summarize or hide undesired details. And they can view subtrees of special interest. In addition, the app includes a search feature enabling users to find specific organisms by either common or scientific family names; a time scale to determine divergence dates among lineages and dates of extinction of fossil families; and a full list of references supporting the phylogenetic arrangements shown in the tree. The phylogenetic tree of life will be updated monthly to include recent findings about evolutionary relationships among living beings.

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