The Encyclopedia of Life has surged past one million pages of content with the addition of hundreds of thousands of new images and specimen data from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Launched in 2007 with the support of leading scientific organizations around the world, the Encyclopedia of Life provides global access to knowledge about life on Earth by building a web page for each of the 1.9 million recognized species.
“The Encyclopedia of Life is a consortium of partners who generate and integrate biodiversity information worldwide. To achieve our ambitious goals, we have to continuously increase the number of species pages and the amount of trusted information in each of them,” said Dr. Erick Mata, EOL Executive Director. “Thanks to the hard work of our international collaborators, we hit the one million page mark with plenty of momentum for the next five years.”
The new images now available on EOL include specimen photos of bones and skins, mounted specimens, x-rays, and photos from collecting expeditions. Some highlights include image galleries for pressed plants, mollusk shells and other marine invertebrates, insects, fish and herpetology.
We have been doing our part toward the goal of getting the world’s biodiversity online and open access. My collaborator Kristin Hultgren has contributed many of the pages on symbiotic snapping shrimps (Synalpheus) based on our ongoing research. As an example, check out her account of the eusocial shrimp Synalpheus regalis (image at right).