Video Tip of the Week: TimeTree, the Timescale of Life resource

Recently when I was reading the pig genome paper (the one that everyone celebrated in the hopes of better bacon–as if that’s necessary…NPR: Pig Genome Project May Pave The Way For Better Bacon), I noticed that they referenced TimeTree for their discussion about the evolutionary relationship of pigs and humans. Surprised to find that we had only mentioned it on the blog when the iPhone app came out, I realized it was time to highlight this handy tool.

The video provided by the TimeTree team mentions both the main interface and the app. Although iPhone is shown it’s also available for Android. The basic search is simple: enter two species and search to find the time of divergence of the two organisms. You can also search by author as well.

They video doesn’t highlight some of the other features they have. A book that they have published is available as a whole lot of PDFs, and you can use that to learn more about the theory and the relationships among species. And there is a very attractive poster you could print up for educational purposes as well.

Explore TimeTree for quickly locating dates and the supporting literature for the divergence of species.

Quick links:

Main TimeTree interface:

TimeTree book:


Hedges, S., Dudley, J., & Kumar, S. (2006). TimeTree: a public knowledge-base of divergence times among organisms Bioinformatics, 22 (23), 2971-2972 DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btl505

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  1. Pingback: Video Tips of the Week, Annual Review V part deux | The OpenHelix Blog

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