Skip to Main Content

Biological Sciences

Animal & Plant Information/Taxonomy: Web & Electronic Sources

  • NCBI Taxonomy 
    The Taxonomy Database is a curated classification and nomenclature for all of the organisms in the public sequence databases. This currently represents about 10% of the described species of life on the planet.
  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
    An international network and research infrastructure funded by the world's governments and aimed at providing open access to data about all types of life on earth.
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) 
    Authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world. The ITIS and Species 2000 Catalogue of Life (CoL) partnership provide the taxonomic backbone to the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL).  
  • International Plant Names Index (IPNI)
    Provides nomenclatural information (spelling, author, types and first place and date of publication) for the scientific names of Vascular Plants from Family down to infraspecific ranks.
  • Index to Organism Names (ION)
    Contains millions of animals names, both fossil and recent, reported from the scientific literature, which provides a powerful foundation for the most complete collection of organism names available today.
  • IUCN Red List
    Established in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species.
  • Tree of Life (ToL)
    A collection of information about biodiversity compiled by expert and amateur contributors. Its goal is to contain a page with pictures, text, and other information for every species and for each group of organisms, living or extinct. Connections between ToL web pages follow phylogenetic branching patterns between groups of organisms, so visitors can browse the hierarchy of life and learn about phylogeny and evolution as well as the characteristics of individual groups.
  • What Tree is That?
    An illustrated site from The National Arbor Day Foundation, that helps to identify trees by their leaves, seeds, and fruit. The illustrations help to identify characteristics, and takes a "step-by-step" approach to arrive at the names of specific trees. 
  • Animal Diversity Web (ADW): 
    An online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology at the University of Michigan.