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What is the tree of life?

The tree of life is a branching tree, showing the relationships bettween different groups of animals. If you have a look at the tree all the sub-groups of the vertebrates are on the same branch - they are more closely related to each other than they are to sponges, for example.

Click on the different animals on the tree to learn about each group.
Think about the different characteristics of each sub-group and why the animals in them have been classified together.

The tree of life The sponges The cnidarians The annelids The molluscs The flatworms The roundworms The arthropods The echinoderms The sharks and rays The bony fish The amphibians The birds The reptiles The mammals

Now that you have learnt about each group of animal, why not try our Games and see if you can classify the animals that are on display in the Museum.

Can you answer these questions? Click on a question to discover the answer.

How many living things are there on the planet?
What are kingdoms?
How do scientists classify living things?
How do we divide the animal kingdom?
What is the tree of life?

If you know it all already, return to the Homepage or play one of our Games!