SciencePhysicsChemistryOrganic ChemistryBiology ► Evolution ► Phylogeny

Our Family Tree
Copyright © 2001-2020 C.E. by Dustin Jon Scott


All life on Earth is related. When we look at the 3-dimensional cross-section of life on Earth we are capable of seeing at any given moment, organisms appear quite individuated, however in 4 dimensions we represent a literal Tree of Life, a great family tree upon which every living thing is but a tip upon a twig upon a branch leading ultimately to a root sometime prior to 4 billion years ago. If one could condense life on Earth along the t axis, such that an individual person were but a blurry line leading back to his mother, and she to her mother, ad genetum, one would see this tree as a literal reality. The Tree of Life in biology textbooks is therefore more than just an abstraction; it is by the inherent brevity of our sensory experiences that we are capable of seeing a mere 3-dimensional cross-section of this 4-dimensional Tree of Life that we perceive individual organisms as separate from one another.

Navigating the Tree

The menu(es) in the top-right corner can be used to navigate the tree. The top menu will always be the “Immediate Phylogeny” menu. Clicking on the listed “Parent Group” in the “Immediate Phylogeny” table will eventually take one back to the root of the tree. Usually, except for very near the root of the tree, there will also be a “Taxonomy”.

Root of the Tree

Nobody knows what the first organism, or First Universal Common Ancestor (FUCA) was. The Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) of all life on Earth was the common ancestor of the archaea and the bacteria. The clade Biota includes everything that descended from the LUCA, which due to panspermia now likely includes numerous extrasolar lifeforms spread across the galaxy.

Featured organisms

Genus Ardipithecus — a possible ancestor of humans.
Genus Drosophila — fruit flies.
Species Streptococcus pneumoniae — pneumococcus.



Eukaryotica: Be enveloped — eukaryology, the subdiscipline of biology dealing with organisms who posses “Cronenberg cells”

The Bone Zone

The Bone Zone: Get boned — osteology, the study of bones, and ichthyology, the subdiscipline of eukaryology dealing with creatures who have bones. Ichthyology generally focuses on the study of non-tetrapod fish.

The Reptile Room

The Reptile Room: it’s reptilicious — herpetology, the subdiscipline of ichthyology dealing with the land-fish known as “tetrapods”. Generally focuses on the study of non-mammalian, non-avian tetrapods.


Mammarama: It’s Lactastic — mammalogy, the subdiscipline of herpetology dealing with the lactating land-fish known as “mammals”.

The Primatorium

The Primatorium: Go Primal — primatology, the subdiscipline of mammalogy dealing with the tree rats known as “primates”.

The Hominid Homepage

The Hominid Homepage: For All Your Homo-Needs — palæoanthropology.

Religion & Spirituality

Religion & Spirituality — cultural anthropology.

The Hive

The Hive: Question. Subvert. Resist. — sociology & social ethology.

Immediate Phylogeny

Largest group

⚑ = You Are Here.

Recommended Links
The Phylogeny Explorer Project
Tree of Life Web Project
► Open Tree of Life
► Catalogue of Life
► ITIS/Species 2000
► fishbase
► reptiledatabase

Image by brian0918 ™ - Own work, Public Domain, Link

Resource Links
AAAS — American Association for the Advancement of Science
NCBI — National Center for Biotechnology Information

Journal Links
Nature: International Journal of Science
PMC — PubMed Central
PNAS — Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Catalogue Links
Bone Clones
Skulls Unlimited

Magazine Links
National Geographic
Popular Science
Scientific American

About GenPan
The Official FAQ

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