WUFT News

UF scientists construct the mammal tree of life

By on February 7th, 2013

The study of the largest tree of life database ever created was published to the journal Science on Thursday. A group of University of Florida scientists have worked to create this database as part of an international team that researches genetic and physical characteristics of placental mammals, which evolved into many of the mammals on Earth today.

“The beauty of this, I think, is that we’re making this data so accessible through this website,” said Jonathan Bloch, assistant curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History on UF’s campus.

The point of this tree of life is to look at the interrelationships of the different species of mammals. After doing 4,500 individual observations per animal, they have only scratched the surface of the extensive data, Bloch said. He said he is looking forward to seeing researchers and students adding to the tree of life for many years to come.

Bloch and his team have seen much consistency with the data they have found and current theories about morphological evolution, but they have also seen some surprising new data. From what they found, the mammals on the planet today have origins from just after the extinction of dinosaurs, he said.

The group of researchers started the tree of life project five years ago with funding from the National Science Foundation through the Emerging Frontiers program. The team felt they had reached a stopping point so they could share their research with the world.

“As always happens in science when you’ve completed a project like this,” Bloch said, “it really is just a stepping stone.”

Rachel Jones wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in University of Florida and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in University of Florida

University of Florida Dream Defenders and UF Students for a Democratic Society protested for nearly two hours on the University of Florida’s campus, Friday, December 13, 2014 in Gainesville.

UF Organizations Protest Outside O’Connell Center

University of Florida Dream Defenders and UF Students for a Democratic Society protested outside O’Connell Center Friday night.


McElwain introduced himself to reporters and answered questions Saturday.

UF Welcomes McElwain At Press Conference Saturday

New UF head football coach Jim McElwain introduced himself and talked about his ideas for Gator football Saturday.


UF Receives Low Credibility Shooting Threat Via Twitter

UF received low level shooting threats from 15 separate Twitter accounts Tuesday night. The FBI and UFPD are currently investigating the author of the tweets. The University of Louisville received a similar threat on Monday.


Freshman Roxana Bonachea gives a flier on quitting tobacco to a student. Volunteers and UF faculty and staff manned tables on campus for the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 20.

The Great American Smokeout Urges End Of Tobacco Use

“We’re encouraging people to make a quit attempt, and we’re going to be able to provide to them any of the services that they need to help them,” Nichols said.


Dr. W. Kent Fuchs, Provost, Cornell University is photographed by Ray Carson, university photographer, in Weimer Hall on the campus of the University of Florida on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. All three Presidential Finalists are on UF's campus being interviewed by various groups of faculty, staff, students the public and the board of trustees.

Dr. Kent Fuchs Confirmed As 12th UF President

Today the Florida Board of Governors unanimously confirmed the selection of Dr. Kent Fuchs as the 12th president of the University of Florida, taking over Bernie Machen’s position.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments