A map of avian evolution, all of it. Beautiful, but also a powerful new tool.
From the original phys.org article:
“It means we can ask questions about biodiversity and evolution on a global scale and gain new insight into how diversity has changed over millions of years as well as understand those changes. More widely, one way in which the phylogeny can be used, and which may not be obvious, is in helping to prioritise conservation efforts.”
The more branches on each species’ individual evolutionary tree – a species that has many close relatives, for example – the better the group’s chances at survival. The fewer the branches – a slender evolutionary tree with just a few related species – the more vulnerable the group is to environmental threats, and the greater the loss to the environment and evolutionary history of a unique and possibly specialized species.Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-family-tree-birds-reveals-evolution.html#jCp or see ‘The global diversity of birds in space and time’ – published in the journal Nature.