An epic effort to promote biodiversity and document all 1.8 million named species on the planet.

When completed, will serve as a global biodiversity tool, providing scientists, policymakers, students, and citizens information they need to discover and protect the planet and encourage learning and conservation.

The Encyclopedia of Life is a collaborative scientific effort led by the Field Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, Marine Biological Laboratory, Missouri Botanical Garden, Smithsonian Institution, and Biodiversity Heritage Library, a consortium including the core institutions and also the American Museum of Natural History (New York), Natural History Museum (London), New York Botanical Garden, and Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew).
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Connected Life: Encyclopedia of Life
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"Imagine an electronic page for each species of organism on Earth, available everywhere by single access on command." - Edward O. Wilson

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is an ambitious project to organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth.
At its heart lies a series of Web sites—one for each of the approximately 1.8 million known species.
Each site is constantly evolving and features dynamically synthesized content ranging from historical literature and biological descriptions to stunning images, videos and distribution maps. Join us as we explore the richness of Earth’s biodiversity!
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Amanita phalloides (Vaill. ex Fr.) Link 1833

Death Cap Mushroom

Anolis carolinensis VOIGT 1832

Green anole

Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762)

Yellow fever mosquito

Falco peregrinus Tunstall, 1771

Peregrine falcon

Hecastocleis shockleyi Gray


Jalmenus evagoras Donovan 1805

Imperial Blue Butterfly

Solanum tuberosum L.


Theobroma cacao L.


Chromis abyssus Pyle, Earle & Greene, 2008

Deep Blue Chromis

Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don

Madagascar periwinkle

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A conversation with Chris Anderson
The Encyclopedia of Life, video demo
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E.O. Wilson: TED Prize wish: Help build the Encyclopedia of Life

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