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Colored horizontal panels represent geologic periods, and the gray vertical bar represents a climatic or geologic event.Publications involving molecular clocks, now numbering in the hundreds, are appearing more frequently (Kumar, 2005).This first version (v1.0) of Time Tree is limited in taxonomic scope to tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds). Additional tetrapod data are being added by our group using the publications submitted by the community to us and those we have identified by searching the published literature.Future versions will be expanded in taxonomic scope to include all of life.They also need to know the range of time estimates and whether or not there is a consensus among studies.Most time estimates are not included in abstracts that are searchable on the web, but instead are usually buried in the text in a variety of formats (including trees) that are often difficult to assimilate and compare among studies. 2) briefly describes the database and presents a choice of two user-query forms: finding the divergence of two taxa, and finding all time estimates from a particular author.The latter will be facilitated by a Time Tree Consortium of experts, already in place, who will provide advice and review new submissions of data. User assistance is included through a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
For example, all current time estimates of the Feliformia-Caniformia divergence are derived from cat-dog sequence comparisons, but a query of mongoose (Feliformia) and raccoon (Caniformia) will yield exactly the same results because their divergence pertains to the same node.Details for some studies were hidden from view by checking the box at left, but all were included in the summary.Results page showing individual studies reporting time estimates for a query for ‘cat’ versus ‘dog’ (a) and the summary results (b).We developed the Time Tree database so that these data would be readily accessible to the scientific community.Scientists often need to know times of divergence to calculate rates of change, to search for connections with Earth history and to construct timetrees, among other reasons.