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PhyloPic: an open database of life form silhouettes
February 4, 2012 7:47 PM   Subscribe

PhyloPic is an open database of life form silhouettes. All images are available for reuse under a Public Domain or Creative Commons license.
PhyloPic‘s database stores reusable silhouette images of organisms. Each image is associated with one or more taxonomic names and indicates roughly what the ancestral member(s) of each taxon looked like.

PhyloPic also stores a phylogenetic taxonomy of all organisms. This means that you can perform phylogenetic searches. For example, if you need an image for a certain taxon, but there is no exact match in the database, you can easily search that taxon’s supertaxa, subtaxa, and related taxa for an image that may work as well.
Via Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week (previously).
posted by brundlefly (20 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
This looked handy at first, but the fact that I couldn't find an image of a cat rendered it suddenly, irrevocably, irrelevant.
posted by doublesix at 7:57 PM on February 4, 2012


This was on the first page of the 'browse' function. Mmmmkay...
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:06 PM on February 4, 2012


This was on the first page of the 'browse' function. Mmmmkay...


When i saw that, i had the urge to merge it with a horse, and make her a centaur, but i don't know the phylum that would go under. ;)
posted by usagizero at 8:12 PM on February 4, 2012


There's a cat in every shadow.
posted by stbalbach at 8:14 PM on February 4, 2012


Oh, cool. It's got the woman and man from the Pioneer 10 plaque.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:15 PM on February 4, 2012


Whut?
posted by benito.strauss at 8:21 PM on February 4, 2012


Oh, cool. It's got the woman and man from the Pioneer 10 plaque.

That is nothing like what it showed me for Homo Sapiens. I was thinking of something more like this.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:50 PM on February 4, 2012


Whut?
Hmm. Looks about right. At least according to Encyclopedia Deviantartismus.
posted by whir at 8:52 PM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


No donkey, mule, or jackass.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:23 PM on February 4, 2012


Snail, panther, or kangaroo.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:47 PM on February 4, 2012


This could be really useful!

However, right now it is very dinosaur heavy. So, maybe it is just a work in progress. I also don't the search function works very well.

Perhaps this is a curled up aerial view of a cat?
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 10:35 PM on February 4, 2012


The owner of PhyloPic (Mike Keesey) is a friend of mine -- the site is complete, functionality-wise, but the content is still work in progress stuff. There's hundreds (maybe thousands by now) of silhouettes in the database, but more are definitely wanted.
posted by chimaera at 11:00 PM on February 4, 2012


However, right now it is very dinosaur heavy.

We need a meteor!
posted by mattoxic at 5:48 AM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seems like they should merge this with the Noun Project.
posted by spudsilo at 6:51 AM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


this is so cool. I was going through a pygame tutorial last night that featured bouncing beach balls and I went to clip a tuxedo cat from the big cat poster explaining how cat coloring works so that I could have bouncing cats instead. I am so happy these images have permissive licenses because dinosaurs.
posted by bleary at 7:28 AM on February 6, 2012


squee! it will have an api. this is awesome because random bouncing dinosaurs.
posted by bleary at 7:39 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


no public src code? :(
posted by bleary at 7:41 AM on February 6, 2012


I think I am a little hyper on my phone today call me epimethius because https://bitbucket.org/keesey/phylopic/src
posted by bleary at 7:43 AM on February 6, 2012


I hate it when I fall behind on metaflter and end up posting after everyone is gone. oh everyone. I wish I could talk to you.
posted by bleary at 8:11 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since you're feeling un-read, bleary, I'll just respond that if you're working through the same pygame tutorial I did recently, may I suggest that you comment out the "clear the screen" code inside the loop. That blue/red/yellow beachball leave a very pretty trail.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:51 PM on February 7, 2012


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