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Activity: The Tree of Life Infographic

Purpose

This activity will give you practice with interpreting infographics and will also support your understanding of the similarities and differences between humans and other species.
Download the PDF of The Tree of Life Infographic.
Tree of Life Infographic

Process

Download the Tree of Life Worksheet and use the infographic to answer the following questions:
Locate the species listed below on the infographic, and determine each one’s domain:
  • brown rat
  • zebrafish
  • Giardia lamblia_
  • Salmonella typhi_
  • Campylobacter jejuni_
  • Streptomyces coelicolor_
  • Streptococcus mutans_
  • Methanosarcina acetivorans
1. Which domain is probably the largest?
2. What are the major differences between each of the domains?
3. What is LUCA?
4. What species is our closest relative?
5. Did we branch off the taxonomic tree from our closest relative or did we develop separately from each other? What does this tell you about our relationship?
6. Homo sapiens and Pan troglodytes both branched off from what type of animal?
7. What are the taxonomic similarities between the following species: Pan troglodytes, Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus?

For Further Discussion

In the Questions Area below, answer one of the questions above. Then, see if you agree or disagree with someone else’s answer to one of the questions that you did NOT respond to, and then share why you agree or disagree.
Once you've finished completing the activity, feel free to check your answers by downloading the answer key.

Want to join the conversation?

  • blobby green style avatar for user Kris Nohe
    The link for the PDF of the Tree of Life Infographic is leading me to the worksheet. Is there somewhere else that I can download the graph?
    (12 votes)
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  • piceratops seed style avatar for user Jacques Anquetil
    What is LUCA?
    LUCA = last universal common ancestor.
    It blows my mind to think all living things are descended from a single-celled organism living more than 3.5 billion years ago.
    (6 votes)
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  • spunky sam green style avatar for user Sabrina Groom
    All the animals belong to the Eukaryote Domian.
    (2 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Lakyra Evans
    What is Luca? Luca is something relating or belonging to a particular area.
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Mildred Mobus
    3. Did we branch off?
    We did branch off, but we are different. If anyone out there is thinking we evolved from monkeys, that's not true. We have a lot of similarities and are closely related in a lot of ways (but as we know, so is a zebrafish!!), but we branched off and started our own human sort of thing!
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Anna  Ignateva
    1. A phylogenetic tree of living things, based on RNA data and proposed by Carl Woese, showing the separation of bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. It is from wiki. I think the difference is the ability to live in the different conditions and the complexity which was allows by those conditions.
    2. Good question. I don't know. The concetration of some material in some goldilock's conditions for the enerdy of life show up.
    3. I think we need to draw not the branch from LUCA, but some circle around the LUCA like magma around the core, but not in the space but in the time. Then the crust would be now living things. Ofcourse they all relative but there is not some direct lines.
    (1 vote)
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  • leaf blue style avatar for user LegoSonicZX
    The infographic link doesn't have the image, only the worksheet. From where can I download the image?
    (1 vote)
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