Scientific American: All 2.3 Million Species Are Mapped into a Single Circle of Life

“Researchers from a dozen institutions recently completed a three-year effort to combine tens of thousands of trees into one diagram, most readable as a circle. The lines inside the circle represent all 2.3 million species that have been named. Biologists have genetic sequences for only about 5 percent of them, however; as more are finished, the relationships within and across groups of species may change. Experts estimate that up to 8.7 million species may inhabit the planet (about 15,000 are discovered every year). “We expect the circle to broaden,” says Karen Cranston, a computational evolutionary biologist at Duke University.”

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