What's New?

The Encyclopedia of Life version 3 (EOL v3) you are using now contains the same sort of biodiversity information we hosted in the previous version, but the web platform and data services it is built on have been almost entirely reengineered and updated to modern standards. Users of the previous site will notice major differences in how the site looks and how you use it.

Mobile first

As you would expect these days, more than half of our visitors reach the EOL web portal through a mobile device.  To make their experience the best it can be we have styled most of the pages to be mobile-first using modern responsive design techniques. EOL should be functional and easy to use on a mobile phone, a tablet or a desktop computer.

Structured data

Increasingly, our users have expressed an interest in biodiversity data like body size, habitat preference, seasonality, color and so on. This information - which we refer to as traits - supports research efforts as well as the curiosity of learners. 

Currently, EOL hosts 21,289,852 trait and attribute records, including 2,511,024 ecological interaction records. There is at least some trait data available for substantially all species and higher taxa in EOL.

We have learned that integrating this information into EOL in a structured way can make biodiversity much easier to discover. You will find more structured data on our taxon page overviews, in great detail in the data tabs, and you can explore it using our advanced search tools.

Like all EOL content, these data are sourced from providers all over the world. Each record comes with detailed provenance information including bibliographic citations and/or web links, so you can trace it to the source. Happy exploring!

New Functionality
  • The EOL Forum:  Discussions related to EOL and its content are now supported on an integrated forum - discuss.eol.org - where you can begin or join a forum thread about a particular species from its EOL species page and discuss other topics. Read more
  • The EOL Open Data Portal: Data files that partner projects and individual users need for their work are made available for download at opendata.eol.org
  • EOL Data Services: On launch the "classic" EOL APIs for taxonomic information and media will continue to be supported. An API for trait and other attribute data is now available; it currently requires authentication. Please contact Jen Hammock  for access. Structured data results from the data search page can also be downloaded by logged in users.
  • The EOL Dynamic Hierarchy: EOL content is now taxonomically organized under a single Dynamic Hierarchy curated by EOL staff (see EOL Dynamic Hierarchy). This classification relies on a suite of classification providers for different branches and layers of the tree of life. The Dynamic Hierarchy can also be manually patched and curated as needed; for instance, as updates are suggested by our expert community. Other classifications are also displayed on EOL for comparison, including those of major providers like the Catalog of Life, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)