|Part of OneZoom's Laurasiatheria|
This is one link that you just have to follow up: nothing I can say captures the half of what you can find out on the site itself. Any ToL is a graphical display which attempts to capture the evolutionary inter-relationships among different species. Things which share a recent common ancestor are adjacent twigs, while more distant relations appear on different branches of the tree. What the OneZoom project achieves is a zoomable display that enables you to see an overview of the 'tetrapods': the lads who climbed out of the water and began to inhabit dry land about 375 million years ago in the Devonian period. Remember Neil Shubin on The Blob last year with his fossil intermediates between fish and amphibians?
Within tetrapods, amphibians peel off from the stem with a distinctive morphology, then mammals, then lizards&snakes, turtles, crocodiles and finally birds. In the old days we shoved a bunch of these groups into a bin called Reptiles although the only thing they had in common was that they weren't birds, mammals or amphibians. Each of those groups forms its own Class [a technical term with a particular meaning in taxonomy]. I show [above Right] part of the representation of the Laurasiatheria, which is one of the four great groups of placental mammals. The other 'superorders' are Afrotheria, Xenartha and the rather chewable mouthful Euarchontoglires. It's been easy enough to recognise membership of a particular/peculiar group from their anatomy: bats have wings, whales have flippers, carnivora have big teeth, insectivores have sharp ones. What was hard for Darwin and his contemporaries was sorting out how these mammalian Orders [another technical term] were grouped.
Who gives a damn? I mean there's got to be more to biology than the naming of parts and classifying species into bins and those bins into buckets and those buckets into dumpsters. The OneZoom project also embeds data about the species in question, notably their conservation status, but also the wikipedia entry, if any, and a number of other biological databases, so you can get a picture [literally usually] of each species' position in the wide world. What about us? Well I can tell you that we are part of the Euarchontoglires. But as my pal Karsten observed:
Did you see the leaf for humans?
"Conservation status: Least Concern"
Interesting way of putting it...Indeed!