Big Book

Encyclopedia of Life Update




The second edition of the Smithsonian Institution’s free, online collaborative Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is now easier to use. It also has been vastly expanded, offering information on more than one-third of all known species on Earth, including hundreds of thousands of images and videos.

With the updated format, users can easily find species of interest; create personal collections of photos and information; find or upload pictures, videos and sounds; and share comments, questions and expertise with users worldwide that share similar interests.

EOL.org seeks to become a microscope in reverse, helping users to discern large-scale patterns. By aggregating for analysis information on Earth’s estimated 1.9 million known species, scientists say EOL could, for example, help map vectors of human disease; reveal mysteries behind longevity; suggest substitute plant pollinators for a swelling list of places where honeybees no longer provide the function; and foster strategies to slow the spread of invasive species.

All EOL information is available for reuse and is licensed under Creative Commons and other Open Access free licenses.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Renewable Payoff

For a few hours last May, Germany’s renewable mix of energy generated so much power that customers were actually paid for using electricity.

Sealife Sanctuary

Greenpeace is working with the European Union and Germany to set aside an Antarctic sanctuary of almost three-quarters of a million square miles to protect whales, penguins and other wildlife.

Bureaucratic Bungle

The agriculture giant’s newest weed-killer, dicamba, is facing opposition from farmers that report crop damage and human health issues.

Plumbing Progress

An innovative Australian project recycles discarded ocean plastic into 3-D printer filament, which is then used to make replacement plumbing parts in needy areas of the world.

Urban Trees

Tree cover works to reduce depression, improve productivity and lessen disease, yet four million city trees a year are being lost due to their low priority in municipal budgets.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags