The Tree of Life

Beginning our celebration of the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his classic On the Origin of Species, today we have a beautiful and dramatic animation, narrated by none other than Sir David Attenborough, describing and compressing into just a few minutes some of the different directions that evolution has taken since life arose on this planet some three and a half billion years ago.

As you work your way up the tree of life, originally conceived by Darwin himself in the picture on the right, you can see our own human lineage and the decreasing degrees of separation we share with the rest of the living world, starting with bacteria, which is still, let's admit it, the only culture some people have :)

By the way, did you know that humans and chimps are genetically closer to each other than mice are to rats?

Watch out for more awesome evolution stuff this week, or click on the evolution tag to visit the archives.
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