Here’s something I’ve been working on and off for almost a year now: it’s a family tree of life on Earth. I first had the idea for it when after a trip to the Museum of Natural History where they had displays showing evolutionary pathways between organisms in some of the exhibits. I went to their giftshop expecting to find some sort of ‘tree of life” poster I could buy and hang on my wall to just stare at, but no such luck. So I decided to make my own. I soon found out that some of the information in their exhibits were outdated in some parts, and that there were a lot of competing theories about where certain animals fit in the tree of life. I spent a good 6 months trying to piece together the information myself. Did you guys know that sponges are thought to be a paraphyletic group by some scientists? I didn’t, and I’m still a bit fuzzy on what that means. So given this and other facts I learned while researching, I decided I really wasn’t qualified to see which information was more correct, and ended up buying a book “The Tree of Life: A Phylogenetic Classification”. Basing my tree off the book (if there’s something factually wrong with it, it’s not my fault, it’s the book’s fault) I’ve been comping up a layout on the computer. My problem right now is how to make everything fit in the tree while making them as big as possible… As you can see in the pictures above, I’m figuring out where to place the branches so everything isn’t so squished in. I’m also kinda fixated on making this evolutionary diagram look like a tree even though it may be simpler to make it look like a subway map. So once I’ve figured out the layout of this tree, I’ll have to actually draw the thing.

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