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supertree.jpg
an impressive complete family tree compiled for about 4,000 mammal species showing how different groups, such as primates & rodents, are related & when they diverged. the so-called "Supertree" visualization is a new way of showing all the mammal species on the planet, starting with a common ancestor.

"What we did instead was use already published information from hundreds of researchers around the world. We used a new technique called supertree construction which allows us to get all the information that's out there, re-code it and re-analyse it as if it's all part of one dataset."

[link: bbc.co.uk (PDF, 1.6MB) & bbc.co.uk (news article)|via visualcomplexity.com]

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2 COMMENTS

The radial scaling could have been nonlinear to avoid the whitespace in the middle, allowing more space for more recent divergence.

Mon 30 Apr 2007 at 3:36 PM

I rather like the radial scaling as it is. The fact that diversity emerges at an exponential rate (a chart showing every species on the planet would look very similar) is a crucial piece of information in understanding the whole picture. It reveals the recursive nature of the evolutionary process.

But if the audience is already very familiar with this and needs this chart for more utilitarian reasons, I agree that changing the scaling would make sense.

Tue 01 May 2007 at 4:09 AM
Andrew
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