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Copy of Tree of Life
Transcript of Copy of Tree of Life
Eubacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota are the 3 (generally accepted) domains of life.
The archaea and bacteria were once lumped into one domain, Prokaryota, meaning "before nucleus", because they have their genetic material scattered around the entire cell, unlike Eukaryotes, which all have nuclei containing their DNA.
This dioxyribose-nucleic acid is the standard molecule for coding genetic instructions, though is is rather useless unless first translated to the language of RNA (ribose nucleic acid), a similar chemical used by more "primitive" life forms, in order to allow ribosomes to assemble proteins from amino acids.
In simpler terms, RNA is either the middleman between genes and gene expression, or in the case of simpler organisms, it is used to both encode instructions and express genes, cutting out the middleman.
On the Absence of Protista
On this tree of life, we'll ignore the (arbitrary) grouping of organisms that is
These are relatively simple, usually unicellular organisms that fit poorly into the existing kingdoms, and were dumped into Protista, a polyphyletic collection grouping completely unrelated organisms together, containing plant-like, fungus-like and animal-like protists as well as organisms escaping any relation to one of the traditional 3 Kingdoms.
For centuries, these organisms resisted classification, as many represented the less specialized ancestors of Animals, Fungi and Plants. This is especially invalid today, as none of the traditional 3 are even Kingdoms anymore.
Modern genetic analysis has placed each of these fascinating creatures along with their (probable) relatives.
Uni (single)-Kont (flagellum)-a
is the sister-clade of Bikonta. It includes organisms with no more than one flagellum, the ability to produce pymimidine nucleotides, as well as a generally heterotrophic lifestyle. These are the animals, fungi, and amoebazoans.
Contains Kingdoms Amoebazoa and Opisthokonta
Using modern classification from 1990-2012
Anything not specifically ranked (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species) is a clade. Clades are typically in ALL CAPS.
I'll first follow lineages down to every order in the entire thing. Once that's done, more families will be added.
Can't handle genuses and species... Anyone else want to take up that mantle?
An Ongoing History of Wrongness
A group of small amoebas with mitochondria, and no flagellum, living in freshwater and soil.
They share a common ancestor with the Fungi.
The Last Universal Common Ancestor
All life on earth shares this common ancestor, and its identity is just as enigmatic as its existance is certain.
The best candidate seems to be a Preprokaryote.
Phylum Porifera "sponges"
Gnathostomata (jawed vertibrates)
"sharks, rays and chimeras"
"The Bony Fish"
(Mammals and relatives)
YOU ARE HERE*
*On this tree, it appears that
are at the most advanced APEX at the end of this tree of life, but really, you could be found in a completely different spot, had it not been a very biased Homo sapiens sapiens who made this tree.
or "perching birds") should be at the far end
, but as far as the dominant species goes...
An ancient vertebrate class dating back to the early Jurassic characterized by:
3 bones (The Malleus, the Incus and the Stapes) in the middle-ear
a four-chambered heart
Most give birth to live young, but the monotremes lay eggs to this day
Many have sweat glands
Teeth are either replaced just once in the lives of most mammals, but some do not replace their teeth at all. This differs from other vertebrate classes, which replace their teeth as needed throughout their lives.
The "Placentals" date back at least 160 million years and are characterized by:
The lack of epipubic bones
A malleolus at the base of the fibula, and an enlarged malleolus at the base of the tibia
A widened opening in the pelvis adapted to allow more mature offspring to be born
The absence of soft tissues in eutherian fossils has made the investigation into the evolution of the placenta unfeasible, but all extant members of the clade live up to the group's common name.
This early split into two loosely related groups of mammals gave rise to the Xenathra, and an organism that quickly split two ways (almost simultaneously in the geological sense) to create all other clades of Eutherians;
(1 Glires and 2 Euarchonta)
*Until recently, the
Pangolins were considered a sister group of Edentata, but their physiological similarities are more likely the result of convergent evolution than common ancestry, so they are likely closer relatives of the carnivores, though the answer is still unclear.
Thanks to Karen Zich Reiss of Oxford for her excellent paper on the subject of ant-eating mammal classification which can be found here:
are also considered prosimians
split from other extant flowering plants very early on, and is now represented by a single extant species found only on the small island of New Caledonia
(water lilies and relatives)
(includes star anise)
"legumes and relatives"
and suffixes of ranks
Includes bean and pea plants
The ovaries of these plants most often form legumes, or seed pods like these
"root nodules" on roots provide a home for nitrogen-fixing bacteria, making these plants essential to maintaining fertile soil rich in nitrogen
3rd largest family of angiosperms, with almost 20,000 members ranging from tiny desert wisps to clingy herbaceous vines to massive woody trees. They can be annuals or perennials, and can live in arctic, subarctic, alpine, temperate, tropical and other regions.
Highly significant agricultural crop providing
(lentil, soy, peas, beans, peanuts, tamarind),
Rosaceae "Rose family"
The most basal family of order Rosales, composed of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants.
Each has spirally arranged leaves, cup-shaped showy flowers, and some have spines.
These plants represent a variety of fruit structures.
Develop aggregate fruits (formed from a single flower with many separate ovaries)
Brambles (blackberries, raspberries)
This subfamily often produces a type of fruit called a
. A fleshy layer surrounds the hard-shelled pit which contains the fertilized embryo. Many members grow to be woody trees or shrubs.
Familiar members are;
A small clade of shrubs and small trees that produce fruits forming achenes or aggregate achenes.
are fruits that superficially resemble seeds, but are composed of both a seed and a seed vessel (the fruit of an angiosperm) so reduced that it appears to be a seed coat.
They also all possess root nodules that harbor nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
a large family of trees, shrubs and woods vines
represented by about 900 species
most species prefer tropical climates
all have simple leaves arranged spirally, opposite or alternately. Some leaves form spines or thorns.
flower parts come in fives, and ovaries come in 2s and 3s. Fruit can be berries, drupes or nuts that rely on mammals and birds to disperse their seeds.
economic importance has been historically limited to eastern Asia, where plants were grown to jujube fruit, dyes, wood, charcoal and ingredients for gunpowder.
These hardy plants can survive in soil too salty and dry for other plants.
Typically thorny, drought-resistant shrubs with root nodules harboring nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Leaves are smooth or leathery
Fruits form achenes
Represented by a single species, the barbeya, which is limited to mountains of the Horn of Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula.
Its male and female flowers are tiny and without petals
Sister family of Barbeyaceae
Represented by two species in a single genus
Their androgynous flowers are large, with wide petals
"the Elm family"
"not just weed"
"the Nettle family"
"the Fig family"
A group of trees and shrubs found in temperate zones on every continent but Australia. They are especially common in the northern hemisphere.
(genus Ulmus) and the rarer
Elm leaves are serrated at their edges, and arranged alternately
Flowers of this family are androgynous, and
since they do not need to attract pollenators. Like with the Gymnosperms, wind is used to disperse spores, though bees play a secondary role.
Superficially, members of this family share few common traits, but are united by a common ancestor.
This group of herbs (erect or twining) and trees is significant to humans because of its association with popular intoxicants. They have small, androgynous flowers arranged in groupings, with flower parts that come in fives. The resin these plants produce makes them attractive medicinal, recreational and ceremonial herbs. They are also cultivated for fibers, oils and seeds.
"Geranium and relatives"
Mytrales is a basal rosid, closely related to geraniales
leadwood (a species with very hard, termite-resistant wood that burns slowly at very high temperatures. It also lives well over a thousand years and stays standing long after death. It is often considered sacred by natives of its natural habitat from South Africa to Tanzania.)
"water bears" (lit. "slow steppers")
"gastrotrichs" or "hairy stomachs"
PANCRUSTACEA or TETRACONATA
(Subphyla Hexapoda and Crustacea)
(Classes; Hexapoda, Crustacea, and Myriapoda)
(Classes; Arachnida, Trilobita,
(Armored Cambian Lobopods)
Considered one of the earliest arthropod ancestors, these animals are enigmatic as they resist placement in any of their supposed crown-group ralatives in Panarthropoda. They were segmented worm-like aquatic creatures that crawled on legs rather than burrowing like their (possible) priapulid ancestors.
They strongly resemble modern Velvet Worms (Onychophorans).
"terror shrimp" (Phylogeny unclear)
These early arthropods were likely the top predators of the Cambrian oceans. Members of the family Anomalocarididae represented the largest recorded animals of the Cambrian era, some reaching about 2m in length. They were flat, segmented, shrimp-like animals that moved like modern rays and dominated the ecosystems due to this cutting-edge agility (compared to other animals of the period).
They were equipped with either two segmented appendages in front of their mouthparts (as with the Anomalocaridids) or a long, flexible proboscis much resembling a vacuum hose (like the Opabinia) and some form of exoskeleton which may or may not have been miniralized into true armor. The Opabinia also had five (possibly compound) eyes. All these animals branched from the arthropod line shortly after the velvet worms and armored lobopods. Thier closest living relatives may be Tardigrades.
There is speculation that Tardigrades and Opabinia are a monophyletic group that branched from the other arthropods BEFORE the Anomalocaridids, which made the split independently. Relationships are, for the time being, unclear.
Sites; mendibulata-dartmouth..... phylogeny-arachnomorpha-academia...
Members of this unassuming group of animals are characterized by their small size (250-500 micrometers), stubby legs, lumbering gate, segmented bodies, clawed feet and general bear-like appearance, hence the common name. Water bears are famous for their ability to withstand conditions that life as we think of it should not survive. They do this by dropping into a state of suspended animation, known as cryptobiosis, in which they can endure;
Heating up to 151*C or 303*F
Cooling down to 1 degree above absolute zero; that's-272*C or -457.6*F
Pressures as high as 6000 times atmospheric pressure (6x that of the deepest ocean ternch)
10 years in a dehydrated state (down to 3% water as opposed to the normal 85% body composition)
5000 Gy of Gamma radiation when dehydrated and 6200 Gy of heavy ions when hydrated. 5-10 Gy would kill a human.
10 days in low Earth orbit, exposed to full solar radiation and low temperatures in a vacuum, after which they produced perfectly viable offspring as if nothing happened.
When removed from these environments, tardigrades "awaken" in better conditions and swim about as happily as before.
Represented by two families and over 100 distinct species, all of which are terrestrial, this ancient phylum has survived for over 300 million years. They share significant traits with both annelids (their hydrostatic exoskeletons, appendages without joints, excretory ststem) and arthropods (their exoskeletons composed of chitin, respiratory system and embryological development), but also have some unique traits (adhesive glands, soft legs used for "walking", etc.) which identify them as highly specialized arthropods.
Velvet worms burrow in moist places (logs, leaf litter) and may be herbivorous, carnivorous or a mixture of both.
Trilobites were the first known true arthropods, appearing shortly before the Cambrian Explosion. From their inception to their extinction by the end of the end of the Permian Extinction, they have left behind fossil evidence of over 17,000 distinct species.
The name "trilobite" refers to their longitudinal three-lobed appearance. They have 3 body sections, the head (bearing the eyes, antenae and mouthparts), thorax (made of segments allowing for dorsal and ventral flexion, and in some cases enrollment similar to that of a pill-bug) and pygidium (a section of fused segments). These vary in size from species to species, as do the numbers of thoracic segments (anywhere from 0 to an average of 13 to well over 100 segments). Some trilobites could even twist horizontally as well as vertically.
This small group of Arachnomorphs is one of the earlies members of the Trilobite clade. They had prominent head shields, eyestalks and poorly defined or absent axes (the medial lobes seen in trilobites)
After a period of extremely rapid divergent evolution, the three domains emerged and continued to evolve independently at a much slower rate.
Many theories exist about how the eukaryotic nucleus came into being. Some of them are;
The Chimera hypothesis; the union of an archaea and a bacterium created the nucleated eukeryotic cell.
Evolution from bacteria; some bacteria have structures similar to membrane-bound organelles, leading some to believe eukaryotes evolved from these bacteria.
The Exomembrane hypothesis; an ancestral cell evolved a secondary cell membrane outside of itself (which became the nucleus) creating the outer membrane binding all cells.
Origins of the Nucleus
Chelicerates are the only surviving members of the arachnomorph clade. This subphylum includes the arachnids, the horseshoe crabs, and (possibly) the sea spiders.
These animals all have two body segments (the cephalothorax and the abdomen), a pair of Chelicerae (characteristic mouthparts that gave this grouping its name) and sensory bristles.
Chelicerates display diverse feeding strategies, including predation, herbivory, scavanging, detrivory, and parasitism. Most cannot consume solid food, and need to liquify it mechanically and chemically before ingesting it into narrow gastric tubes.
The only living members of this order reside within family Limulidae. Horseshoe crabs have persisted since the Silurian, largely unchanged in millions of years, earning them the title "living fossils."
Only four species remain today, all marine, though past species have lived in fresh water. They have 1 set of compound eyes and 5 simple eyes on their carapace, as well as two underneath. All feed on smaller invertibrates.
Though none are listed as endangered, their populations have long been an area of concern due to records of decreasing populations. These have likely been the result of both habitat loss and overharvesting during their forays onto shore where they gather en masse to mate. They are used as bait, and as components in fertilizer.
Named for their broad, paddle-like swimming appendages, the Euryptids (or "wide-wings") included some of the largest arthropods ever found. Ranging in size from 10cm to over 2.5m (8 feet) in length, these creatures were all teriffic predators that ranged in fresh and marine waters all over the globe prior their extinction during the Permian-Triassic "Great Dying".
Though not true scorpions, they and the horseshoe crabs are very close relatives of the arachnids.
Some species may have used their tails to inject venom into prey. Most lived on seabeds, crawling like modern lobsters, but some may have been capable of walking on land.
Chasmataspids are rare and obscure chelicerates are likely related to either Horseshoe Crabs or Sea Scorpions.
The chasmataspid shown (left) is a composite modal drawn from a number of incomplete fossil specimens and fossilized imprints. It is shown next to a Sea Scorpion.
Known commonly in the US as "daddy-longlegs", Opiliones are venomless, fangless, not-spiders; famous for being the most venomous spiders in the world which conveniently have fangs too small to puncture human skin.
These arachnids exist worldwide and date back to the Devonian. Most of them have exceptionally long legs, a second pair of further elongated legs used as antenae, and two body segments (the cephalothorax and abdomen). They do not produce venom, and therefore have no fangs with which to inject the lackthereof. They are, however, some of the only arachnids capable of ingesting solid food. When severed, their legs can be seen moving from anywhere from 1 minute up to an hour after detatchment. This likely serves the same purpose as the twitching of a skink's severed tail, shown here in all its glorious irony being fed on by a happy harvestman.
Pseudoscorpions represent one of two Dromopod crown groups and are found worldwide, as far north as Ontario, Canada and at altitudes above tree lines in the Rocky Mountain Range. These tiny arachnids look identical to scorpions aside from their lack of stinging tails. They typically measure 2-8 mm in length, and so are difficult to find. For the most part, humanity considers them friends, as they prey on household pests such as book lice, dust mites, ants, flies and textile-eating larvae. They often find their ways into homes by hitching rides on flying insects, a commensal behavior known as "phorecy".
They produce venom for immobilizing prey, as well as a
corossive for external digestion and silk to form cacoons
used during moulting, mating and overwintering.
Their long pedipalps end in pincers, which deliver venom
in addition to the conventional functions of pincers.
"Book Scorpions" or "False Scorpions"
There are over 1000 known species of Solifuges, which are alternately known as "wind scorpions, camel spiders, sun spiders, or solpugids." The word
Soli(sun)-fug(flee)-ae loosely translates to "those who flee the sun".
They have 8 legs, with an elongated anterior pair used for sensory purposes as well as locomotion. Thier pedipalps also function in both these aspects, though to a lesser extent for locomotion, as they have only five segments and end in adhesive organ used to snatch airbourne prey and/or climb smooth surfaces. Their rotated chelicerae, which form strong, toothed pincers that open vertically, are typically enlarged, often outsizing their heads, which makes members of this order easy to identify.
Though scary to look at, these arachnids can deliver, at most, a painful bite. They can run at about 10mph (16kmh), and can chase down anything from insects and spiders to small lizards and other small vertibrates. During various wars taking place in their habitats, soldiers have staged fights between solifuges, which recently have been posted on YouTube.
(One camel spider and several egos were harmed in the making of this video.)
This video may be disturbing, as it depicts one solifuge splitting the jaws of another and tearing into its head.
Scorpions are easily recognized due to their prominent pincers and stinging tail. They have 4 pairs of walking legs, 1 pair of pedipalps anding in pincers, a seven-segmented abdomen and 5 caudal segments forming a curling tail that ends in a stinging barb. All scorpions can sting, but only about 25 out of the roughly 2000 scorpion species are venomous enough to endanger a human. There are also over 100 extinct species known from fossils, many of which were marine. The oldest of these fossils date back to the Silurian.
Their life spans have been recorded anywhere between 4 and 25 years, depending on the species. They prey mainly on other arthropods and small vertibrates. They can survive up to a year without food. They are primarily nocturnal, and avoid light in order to remain undetected by predators. At sunset, however, this changes dramatically, as scorpions abandon their reclusive habits, making scorpion territory very dangerous after dark. A common solution used to spot them, however, exploits the florescent qualities of scorpion exoskeletons.
This order includes the sucking mites in Prostigmata (velvet mites, water mites, chiggers) and the Schlaerolichida. Many are parasites on plants, and less commonly on animals. They are considered pests.
(mites + ticks)
Includes the Astigmata, Endeostigmata, and Oribatida (moss mites/beetle mites). Members of Orbatida live in decaing organic matter, and help to break down and improve soil. Orbatida is likely not a monophyletic group. Only the Astigmata are parasitic, living on vertibrates. These species are referred to as feather mites, scabies mites and other colloquial terms.
There are almost 60 species of hooded tickspider. They have a hood which can be lowered or raised to cover the head and chelicerae, and also have no eyes; only light sensitive eyespots. Their pedipalps end in small pincers. The second pair of legs are used especially for sensory purposes. In males, the third pair end in copulatory organs. This order is poorly studied, but they seem to live only in damp environments.
"silverfish and firebrats"
Order Blattaria (Blattodea)
(mantids, termites, roaches)
The phylogeny of the dermapterans has long been a matter of debate. They have been placed as a sister clade to the Zoraptera, Dictyoptera and even Plecopterans at various times. At this point, the jury is out.
The name Dermaptera (skin-wings) comes from their unique wing morphology. The forewings are small leathery covers for the membranous hindwings, which need the help of the cerci to fold up. Most earwigs are capable of flight, but are rarely seen using their wings. Some dermapterans are wingless, and lack cerci.
Commonly known as earwigs, these nocturnal insects look fearsome with their large pincer-like cerci, and are often viewed as nasty pests. However, they have been shown to eat common pests, like aphids, and have not been shown to spread diseases or do significant damage to crops (unless the harvesters toss the earwig-harboring crops).
Urban legends tell of earwigs that crawl into sleeping human ears and then lay eggs in brains, but their preferences for narrow, moist crevaces keep them far from anyhwere humans will be sleeping.
Represented by a single species, the only individual ever found was a male specimen in Burmese amber.
Two Cretaceous species have been confirmed from Burmese amber. They have 8-segmented antenae, and a few other minor differences from other Zorotypans
About 34 confirmed species belong to this subgenus, two of which went extinct in the Miocene. All modern Zorapterans belong to this subgenus. Genetic analysis places the Zorapterans close to the Dictyopterans (mantids, roaches, termites). Zorapterans are small, termite-like insects with 9-segmented antenae and 2 short cerci. They show strange genetic polymorphisms, with vastly differing winged morphs and eyeless, wingless, pale morphs. The wingless morphs thrive in favorite zorapteran conditions, but they will produce more winged offspring when conditions become tougher. They live gregariously in colonies.
Zor(pure) Apterans (wingless ones) though most have wings.
"crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, etc."
*Monophyly not supported*
"aphids, whiteflies, coccids and Psyllids"
"cicadas and relatives"
"bees, wasps, ants"
"sea stars, sea urchins + relatives"
"acorn worms and pterobranchs"
The obscure fishes called bichirs and reedfish fall into the most basal order of all bony fish. Only a single family of this order survives, which is limited to the swampy tropics of Africa and the Nile River. Their fleshy pectoral fins resemble those of their close relatives; the lobe-finned fishes.
"bichirs and reedfishes"
sp. Methanotorrus formicicus
sp. Methanothermococcus thermolithotrophicus
sp. Methanococcus vannielii
sp. Methanothermococcus okinawensis
sp. Methanococcus aeolicus
sp. Methanothermus fervidus
sp. Methanobacterium beijingense
sp. Methanosphaera stadtmanae
sp. Methanocella paludicola
sp. Methanocella arvoryzae
sp. Methanosaeta harundinacea
sp. Methanosaeta thermophila
sp. Methermicoccus shengliensis
sp. Methanosalsum zhilinae
sp. Methanomethylovorans hollandica
sp. Methanomethylovorans thermophila
sp. Methanimicrococcus blatticola
sp. Methanosphaerula palustris
sp. Methanolinea tarda
*unclassified by family*
sp. Halomarina oriensis
sp. Halomicrobium mukohataei
sp. Halarchaeum acidiphilum
sp. Halosimplex carlsbadense
sp. Halomicrobium katesii
sp. Haloquadratum walsbyi
sp. Halopelagius inordinatus
sp. Halosarcina limi
sp. Halosarcina pallida
sp. Halogeometricum rufum
sp. Halogeometricum borinquense
sp. Halonotius pteroides
ANALOGOUS: Similar structures in different species that developed independently. (i.e. wings of bats, birds, insects, pterodons etc.)
CELL: A membrane-bound body that is the basic unit of life.
CHLOROPLAST: A membrane-bound organelle in green algae (plant) cells that contains chlorophyll. It is the cite of photosynthesis.
CLADE: A monophylteic grouping or ogranisms with common ancestry.
GENE: A sequence of base pairs (ACGT) coding for a protein.
HOMOLOGOUS: Similar structures in different species derived from common ancestry. (i.e. vertebrate forearm)
LATERAL IHERITANCE: Gene transferrence between unrelated organisms.
MITOCHONDRION: Double-membrane bound organelle resposible for cellular respiration (oxidative phosphorylation) in Eukaryotes.
MONOPHYLETIC: A unified clade of a common ancestor and all its descendants.
ORGANELLE: Membrane bound center of a set of functions within a cell.
PARAPHYLETIC: A grouping of a an ancestor and some of its descendants.
PHYLOGENY: The study of evolutionary relationships among organisms or their components. (i.e. genes, structures)
PLASTID: Double-membrane bound organelles responsible for photosynthesis, storage of starches and protein synthesis. (i.e. chloroplasts in green algae)
POLYPHYLETIC: The grouping of descendants sharing no common ancestor. (i.e. endothermic birds and mammals)
sp. Ancyromonas sigmoides
Discovered in 1880, this species is the sole known member of the Order Ancyromonadida.
These tiny (3 to 7 um long) bikonts have been found in fresh and marine waters as well as soil.
This species has an oval shaped body with a shallow groove, and an anterior flagellum inferior to the trailing, long posterior flagellum.
They feed on bacteria.
Tree of Life
(unspecified ranks are CLADES)
This tree will go down to at least every single ORDER.
When practical, I'll go through FAMILY, GENUS and SPECIES.