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Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is an ambitious, even audacious project to organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth. At its heart lies a series of Web sites—one for each of the approximately 1.8 million known species—that provide the entry points to this vast array of knowledge. The entry-point for each site is a species page suitable for the general public, but with several linked pages aimed at more specialized users. The sites sparkle with text and images that are enticing to everyone, as well as providing deep links to specific data.

The EOL dynamically synthesizes biodiversity knowledge about all known species, including their taxonomy, geographic distribution, collections, genetics, evolutionary history, morphology, behavior, ecological relationships, and importance for human well being, and distribute this information through the Internet. It serves as a primary resource for a wide audience that includes scientists, natural resource managers, conservationists, teachers, and students around the world. We believe that the EOL's encompassing scope and innovation will have a major global impact in facilitating biodiversity research, conservation, and education.

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Nicrophorus americanus Olivier Nicrophorus americanus Olivier
American burying beetle
Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758 Gadus morhua Linnaeus, 1758
Atlantic cod
Cafeteria roenbergensis Fenchel & D.J. Patterson Cafeteria roenbergensis Fenchel & D.J. Patterson
Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762)
Yellow fever mosquito
Falco peregrinus Tunstall, 1771 Falco peregrinus Tunstall, 1771
Peregrine falcon


EOL is first release of the Encyclopedia of Life portal. This is the very beginning of our exciting journey to document all species of life on Earth. Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about all life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

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