Encyclopedia of Life

collaborative project intended to create an encyclopedia documenting all living species known to science

The Encyclopedia of Life (EoL) is an online source of information. The Encyclopedia of Life lists plants, animals and all other kinds of living things. It gives this information in many languages. It has more than 2 million species in it, making it one of the largest sources of species information in the world.[1][2]

Many different groups work together to make and run the encyclopedia. The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History is the leader.



In 2008, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation gave the Smithsonian the money to start the encyclopedia.[1][3][4]

In 2018, EoL started a new way of showing information that allowed users to search for species in new ways. For example, it is more easy to see and search for which living things eat which other animals or plants.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Encyclopedia of Life". Smithsonian. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  2. "Scientists compile 'book of life'". BBC. May 9, 2007. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  3. Carl Zimmer (February 26, 2008). "The Encyclopedia of Life, No Bookshelf Required". New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  4. "EOL History". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved August 2, 2021.

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