Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Time Tree
October 27, 2011 10:08 AM   Subscribe

TimeTree is a public knowledge-base for information on the evolutionary timescale of life. A search utility allows exploration of the thousands of divergence times among organisms in the published literature. A tree-based (hierarchical) system is used to identify all published molecular time estimates bearing on the divergence of two chosen taxa, such as species, compute summary statistics, and present the results . . . For those interested in published summaries of relationships and divergence times of major groups of organisms (family level and above), see the authoritative synthesis The Timetree of Life.

Here are some examples to get you started: Humans and Chimpanzees diverged 6.3 MYA; Giraffes and Dolphins diverged 58.3 MYA; Cats and Mice diverged 95.2 MYA; and Dogs and Fleas diverged 777.8 MYA.

Of course, there's an app (iPhone; Android) for that this. Also, a 'Timetree of Life' wall poster is available as a .pdf (L; M; S), .jpg (L; M; S), or print.
posted by troll (18 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Can someone please explain why ducks diverged from whales the same time (292.2 MYA) that platypuses diverged from crocodiles and komodo dragons diverged from kangaroos?
posted by troll at 10:13 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can't find where the Creationists / Intelligent Design-ists split-off from the rest of us. Please advise.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:13 AM on October 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is really cool. Also I was unaware of the ironic antagonism between giraffes and dolphins.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:14 AM on October 27, 2011


troll, that's the point when sauropsids (birds, crocodiles, lizards, snakes etc.) diverged from synapsids (mammals etc.).
posted by gubo at 10:18 AM on October 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Brad Pitt diverged from Jennifer Aniston and became Brangelina 0.000006 MYA.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:20 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can't find the divergence between dragons and unicorns. This site is bullshit.
posted by grubi at 10:21 AM on October 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


It considers "Panda" to be a particular genus of plant, which can lead to some surprising first-glance results.
posted by Flunkie at 10:25 AM on October 27, 2011


It seems to be barfing on homo sapiens vs quercus alba.
posted by DU at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2011


No wait, it was temporary. 1427.6 MYA. Huh...that's pretty recent.
posted by DU at 10:34 AM on October 27, 2011


I am having fun trying to find our most distant relative. Best result so far: aquifex aeolicus 2309.1 million years ago.
posted by alby at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2011


On a somewhat related note I learned something that I found interesting.

On the average, any random person from Sweden and an aborigine from Australia will be more genetically similar than two random people from 2 countries in Africa.

While the person from Sweden may look quite a bit different than the aborigine from Australia, the genes for skin color, hair color/type, etc are very few.

The reason given is that when human originated in Africa the group that left Africa for Europe and beyond including Sweden and Australia was a small subset of the number that remained in Africa.
posted by 2manyusernames at 11:05 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate it when people measure things in MYA. The number is constantly changing!
posted by miyabo at 12:25 PM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Only in the least significant digits.
posted by axiom at 1:49 PM on October 27, 2011


I am having fun trying to find our most distant relative.
That would be Earl, and if you can't find him, then we have done a good job of hushing things up.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:11 PM on October 27, 2011


Dogs and Fleas diverged 777.8 MYA

Humans and Tulips diverged 777.8 MYA
posted by stirfry at 5:45 PM on October 27, 2011


stirfry, looks like searching for tulips got you Conus tulipa, a kind of sea snail. We and the plants are 1427.6 MYA apart according to the site.
posted by gubo at 6:19 PM on October 27, 2011


Ah yes. Thanks for the Conus tulipa.
posted by stirfry at 8:31 PM on October 27, 2011


stirfry, looks like searching for tulips got you Conus tulipa, a kind of sea snail.

And searching for 'flea' as per the link in the OP gives you Daphnia, the water flea. Searching for 'dog flea' returns the one you might be expecting (though the divergence time is unchanged, since Daphnia and dog fleas are both arthropods).
posted by primer_dimer at 6:31 AM on October 28, 2011


« Older What's your global ranking?...  |  Columbia University Prevents B... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments