Tree of Life Database!

Posted on April 17, 2011

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I found this interesting website that allows you to compare any two species and have it calculate, based on the most recent advances in molecular systematics, the time since their common ancestor.  It’s a pretty neat website.  For example, I wanted to see the time when humans and mountain lions parted ways, so I typed in Homo sapiens Vs. Puma concolor and got this response:

homo sapiens Versus puma concolor
(Homo sapiens) (Puma concolor)
98.2 Million Years Ago
* See below for details.
Summary Information
Query Taxa: Homo sapiens/Puma concolor
Result Comparison Euarchontoglires/Laurasiatheria
Study Weighted Average (#genes) Simple Average
All (39) 98.2 Mya 96.3 Mya
Nuclear (22) 94.0 Mya 92.5 Mya
Mitochondrial (14) 112.0 Mya 103.3 Mya
Mixed (3) 95.1 Mya 91.8 Mya
TimeTree Expert Result
Time Publication Year PDF Link
97.4 2009 Murphy et al.

Pretty nifty if I do say so myself!  Not only does it give you the comparison of various segments of DNA such as nuclear and mitochondrial sequences, but also a source article for you to reference.  Go ahead and play around with it.  I apologies if playing around with it sounds like just about the most boring thing you could possibly be doing, but I found it quite entertaining!

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Posted in: Science