Timetree of Life

FUUUUUN!

TimeTree is a public knowledge-base for information on the evolutionary timescale of life. A search utility allows exploration of the thousands of divergence times among organisms in the published literature. A tree-based (hierarchical) system is used to identify all published molecular time estimates bearing on the divergence of two chosen taxa, such as species, compute summary statistics, and present the results.

You can type in some species names (or common names) and get an approximation of when those two species initially diverged!

For example:

Humans split from dogs ~97 mya.

Humans split from cats ~97 mya.

Dogs split from cats ~58 mya.

So we split from dogs and cats, before dogs and cats diverged from one another!

Comments

  1. #1 Tommykey
    June 11, 2009

    B-b-but those numbers can’t be true! According to the Bible, the Earth is only about 6,000 years old!

  2. #2 MartinDH
    June 11, 2009

    Tommykey:

    Yeah. But they’re Godyears and bear little or no relationship to ours.


    Martin

  3. #3 Sven DiMilo
    June 11, 2009

    So we split from dogs and cats, before dogs and cats diverged from one another!

    That’s news to you?

    Seriously?

  4. #4 Iason Ouabache
    June 11, 2009

    Awesome link. Thanks!

  5. #5 aporeticus
    June 11, 2009

    Pears/apples didn’t work. :(

  6. #6 Sven DiMilo
    June 11, 2009

    In addition to being a Condescending BioDick, I should also say thanks for that link. It’s full of excellent current info on the phylogenies of lots and lots of organisms.
    & fer Free!

  7. #7 Matthew
    June 11, 2009

    wow awesome!

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  8. #8 Ranson
    June 11, 2009

    Heh. My first thought was “cats & dogs”, then I scroll down to see that Abbie kindly provided the answer.

    I’m going to have to play with this with my kids.

  9. #9 Optimus Primate
    June 11, 2009

    I call shenanigans. This thing has no information about when Republicans and reptiles diverged.

    Oh, wait…

  10. #10 Prometheus
    June 11, 2009

    Buzzards and parrots 77.30 Mya

    Very Cool Toy!
    I will show it to my nieces this weekend.
    Thank you.

  11. #11 Tommykey
    June 11, 2009

    This thing has no information about when Republicans and reptiles diverged.

    Yeah, but if reptiles evolved from Republicans, why are there still Republicans around today? :-)

  12. #12 Prometheus
    June 11, 2009

    Humans and marmots 93.92 Mya

    How come we don’t talk gopher?

    *spits*

  13. #13 Pete
    June 11, 2009

    This is going to be the most fun I have with my pants on for a solid month.

  14. #14 a lurker
    June 11, 2009

    Must we compare Apples and oranges?

    “Pears/apples didn’t work. :(”

    I was going to suggest going to Wikipedia and find the genus name and put it in, but when I did it and got a no results. I guess we need a Pear genome project. For the record I tried Malus for apple and Pyrus for pear.

  15. #15 Josie
    June 11, 2009

    That is such pure awesome and fun. :’)

  16. #16 eddie
    June 11, 2009

    Yeah. I put in apple and pear and got no details, but it did resolve that it was malus and pyrus it was looking for.

    I don’t know why but my first search was bullfrog and maraschino cherry. This was a bit much but it got frog and cherry generally and they diverged 2.1 – 2.5 Bya.

    Pretty much as unrelated as you get.

  17. #17 eddie
    June 11, 2009

    Slight correction:

    The frog it actually found for me was in fact a Trypanosoma parasite of frogs. Weird, as I also asked for toad and got dozens of species.

  18. #18 William Wallace
    June 11, 2009

    So we split from dogs and cats, before dogs and cats diverged from one another!

    It must be true if a computer program’s output says it’s true.

    LOL.

  19. #19 James F
    June 11, 2009

    It must be true if a computer program’s output says it’s true.

    LOL.

    The program is based on evidence from the scientific literature, unlike anything the creationists have to offer. It would be easy to set up, though, just have a list of species and one output link that says “Appeared instantly 6,000 years ago!”
    LOL.

  20. #20 ERV
    June 11, 2009

    The program is based on evidence from the scientific literature, unlike anything the creationists have to offer.
    It also links you to all the scientific literature it used to figure out said answer!

  21. #21 Prometheus
    June 11, 2009

    oyster and carrot 1,717.00 Mya

    wheeeeee

  22. #22 Optimus Primate
    June 11, 2009

    It must be true if a computer program’s output says it’s true.

    LOL.

    In that case… LOL

    Thanks for playing. Don’t you have a bridge you’re supposed to be guarding
    somewhere?

  23. #23 jim
    June 11, 2009

    Seems like time estimates hit the wall at 2.5bya

    Query Taxa: Escherichia coli/Homo sapiens

    Result Comparison Bacteria/Eukaryota
    2,292.00 Mya (mean) 2,500.36 Mya (weighted mean)

  24. #24 LanceR, JSG
    June 11, 2009

    Well, I guess we can add computers to the list of things Limp Willy doesn’t understand!

  25. #25 Jason
    June 11, 2009

    Wallace, quit being a turd. If independent methods of evidence produce the same tree, and you do not want to accept it, that’s your own prerogative.

    Back to the OP: Fun!! But careful, y’all.

    You have the potential to come up with biologically errant trees (I only briefly looked at the method).

    Here’s what I mean:
    If you do:
    Human-Dog 97
    Mouse-Dog 97
    Human-Mouse 93

    So, it turns out that that tree is right, but had you used the weighted averages, the numbers would have been:

    Human-Dog 98
    Mouse-Dog 98
    Human-Mouse 103

    And that tree is wrong – mice and humans are more closely related than either is to dog.

    There is actually an interesting story that explains the variation there, and it’s a cute one if people want to think of the reason =)

  26. #26 The Curmudgeon
    June 11, 2009

    Homo sapiens diverged from the walrus 97.4 million years ago. Bah! Rubbish! I ain’t no kin to no walrus!

  27. #27 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 11, 2009

    I am the Walrus

  28. #28 JD
    June 11, 2009

    I typed in Homo Sapien/ Ken Ham and got 7,899.99 MYA

  29. #29 LanceR, JSG
    June 11, 2009

    I typed in Ken Ham and a ham sandwich, and got “No detectable difference” errors. I think something may be miscalibrated on my end…

    Let me check my notes…

  30. #30 Paul Lundgren
    June 11, 2009

    As long as we’re talking about cats and dogs, PZ has a great post on having his cat shaved to keep down the shedding in his house. The comments are pretty good, too.

  31. #31 Louis
    June 11, 2009

    So 58 mya dogs and cats were living together?* Was there mass hysteria?

    Louis

    * I know, I know, but I couldn’t make the Ghostbusters joke in a biologically valid manner.

  32. #32 Phil Bock
    June 11, 2009

    I feel neglected – no results for Bryozoa (nor Ectoprocta, which returns as Bryozoa -hooray). Brachiopoda are there, which are much less diverse and abundant (now, if not in the Paleozoic). The freshwater bryozoans are also a significant faunal component, particularly in water supply pipes.
    I am NOT an Ectoproctologist.

  33. #33 James F
    June 11, 2009

    #27

    I am the Walrus

    Shut the f*ck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!

  34. #34 Optimus Primate
    June 11, 2009

    Shut the f*ck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!

    What the f*ck is he talking about, Dude?

  35. #35 Ranson
    June 12, 2009

    Try as I might, I can’t get an answer on PYGMIES + DWARFS.

  36. #36 MadScientist
    June 12, 2009

    Hahaha. :) Of course if the machine reports the last suspected common ancestor the results are understandable although technically still not correct.

    Running things through my english-to-idiot converter I get these statements:

    1. One evening about 97MYA, a dog gave birth to a human (probably male)
    2. On that same evening about 97MYA, a cat gave birth to a human (probably female)
    3. On one evening about 58MYA, dogs gave birth to cats and cats gave birth to dogs

    Obviously this all proves that there *is* a dog!

  37. #37 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 12, 2009
    Shut the f*ck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!

    What the f*ck is he talking about, Dude?

    They are the Eggman?

  38. #38 eddie
    June 12, 2009

    I didn’t get pygmy and dwarf so I tried pygmy loris and dwarf cactus. Again, no. But oris and cactus generally cave common ancestor 2.92Gya

  39. #39 LanceR, JSG
    June 12, 2009
    Shut the f*ck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!

    What the f*ck is he talking about, Dude?

    They are the Eggman?

    Goo goo gajoob?

  40. #40 scripto
    June 12, 2009

    What’s the cannibalism spread? So how many mya’s is it before I no longer have to feel bad about my mobile food sources? I’m thinking 80. That still leaves hamburger at 92mya.

  41. #41 Lurky
    June 12, 2009
  42. #42 eddie
    June 12, 2009

    I recently seen pictures of an alleged crocoduck; with sharp teeth in big jaws, but with feathers and webbed feet. What would you call the animal with long tail, scaly skin and a beak?

    A quackodile.

  43. #43 dNorrisM
    June 12, 2009

    Dog and Bearberry:
    1,423.80 Mya

    (Bearberry was at the top of the list for the disambiguation of Bear)

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