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Using the Encyclopedia of Life
EOL Taxon Pages:
Utilizing EOL as a resource for
information about life on earth
What is the Encyclopedia of Life?
The Encyclopedia of Life is a collaborative effort among
scientist and the general public to bring information
together about all 1.9 million named and known species, in
a common format, freely available on the internet.
Content on EOL is organized into Taxon Pages, ranging from
kingdom all the way down to the species level. This tutorial
will help you learn how to navigate EOL taxon pages.
EOL serves species information from authoritative content partners, individuals scientists,
citizen scientists, students and the general public. Below are some of our content partners:
..and many more
Information for each species on EOL is aggregated from hundreds of
content partners into a common template called a Taxon Page.
Each tab on the taxon page contains different content.
Taxon pages contain detailed information about the taxa is available in the Detail Tab.
Images, video + sounds can be found in the Media Tab.
Occurrence data provided by GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) and other
maps can be found in the Map Tab.
Names + Classifications
The EOL collection can be browsed based on a number of different taxonomic
hierarchies which are featured in the Overview and Names Tabs of every EOL taxon
page. All taxonomic hierarchies featured on EOL are expert-vetted.
Look in the Community Tab to interact with others interested in the same taxa by
viewing or creating a virtual collection or community.
Links to other resources e.g. Identification resources can be found
in the Resources Tab.
In the Literature Tab you will find references provided by content partners and links to
literature from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Biodiversity Heritage Library Literature
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical
libraries that cooperate to digitize and make freely accessible the legacy literature of
biodiversity held in their collections. Find BHL literature under the Literature Tab on each
Searching on EOL
You can search for species by common name or scientific name. You can also search for
EOL Collections and Communities. You can filter your search results by content type.
Trusted and Unreviewed Content
EOL serves both trusted and unreviewed content. You can filter your results to show
only one type of content.
EOL Content Priorities
You may come across a taxon page with no information. This is because we do not have a content
provider for this taxa yet. EOL has determined that many of these pages are of high priority and is
reaching out to faculty that teach higher level courses, about the opportunity of having undergraduate
and graduate students research and synthesize information about species on EOL’s high priority taxa list
and then summarize this information in an overview or taxon page suitable for the general public.
EOL is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and
the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the following institutions:
Atlas of Living Australia
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Chinese Academy of Sciences
La Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO)
Field Museum of Natural History
El Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)
Marine Biological Laboratory
Missouri Botanical Garden
NCB Naturalis - the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity
New Library of Alexandria
South African National Biodiversity Institution (SANBI)
Encyclopedia of Life
EOL Learning + Education