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Tree of Life

The ability to sequence DNA and compare sequences between species has given scientists a new way to map the ancestral relationships and draw the tree of life. What these new tools have revealed is a sprawling tree on which most of the branches are occupied by a stunning diversity of microbial life, and the plants and animals we are most familiar with, including ourselves, occupy just a few tiny twigs.(

Credits: Excerpted from Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, by Carl Zimmer. 2001 WGBH Educational Foundation and Clear Blue Sky Productions. Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins.

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Evolution of Diversity

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