Explore extinct life by their name
(i.e., genus)

Explore extinct life by family groupings
(i.e., cladistic relationships)

Explore extinct life by geological time period
(i.e., when the life form lived)

Explore extinct life by geographic location
(i.e., where the fossils were found)

Explore extinct life by paleontologist/author
(i.e., person(s) who named the life form)

Explore fantasy life forms shaped by the human mind and experience
(i.e., fictional creatures & monsters)

An introduction to the Extinct Life Pictorial Encyclopedia along with some statistics regarding what information is available

The Dinosaur Fan Non-sports Collectibles Digest

Fiction Novels Featuring Prehistoric Animals, Mutant Beasts & Primeval Man

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Life by Family Groups
"The idea that one can go to the fossil record and expect to empirically recover an ancestor-descendant sequence, be it of species, genera, families, or whatever, has been, and continues to be, a pernicious illusion."
Gareth J. Nelson
 
This section of The Dinosaur Fan provides a cladistics view of life forms which groups together various classifications (a.k.a., families) of life on Earth. The groupings and simplified cladograms* presented in this website are designed to serve as a general reference as to where life forms fit within the Earth's biological macrocosm and hopefully to provide an easy to use method of viewing those life forms. These cladograms or “Schematics” as I refer to them are simplified family trees based on my interpretation of exhaustive works by many paleontologists, biologists, and scholars.

This cladogram is predominately based on the information presented in The Taxonomicon and fossilworks with augmentation from Tree of Life Web Project , Mikko's Phylogeny Archive , and various Wikipedia articles. Notable exceptions include the following from which I obtained considerable information:

It is important to acknowledge two factors involved in this section of The Dinosaur Fan. First, there are numerous "authoritative" cladograms available and more often than not they differ from each other to one degree or another, sometimes significantly. Second, I built the core of this section of the website during the second half of 2014. Over time, theories of evolution and family group associations change as new evidence and/or lines of thought emerge. While I will do my best to modify my material as appropriate to keep pace with modern theory, this section of the website was extremely labor intensive and major modifications will be slow in coming.

*A cladogram is a branching diagram representing the minimum (i.e., core) derived characteristics within supposedly related groups of life forms (e.g., animals). The cladogram provides a visual aid for the development of a hypothesis of the evolutionary closeness (kinship) of the various groups of life forms. In other words, a cladogram can be used to visualize hypotheses (educated guesses) as to which groups of life forms are more closely related to each other than to other groups of life forms. A cladogram is not a representation of the path that evolution took in producing various life forms. The branching pattern of a cladogram is intended to show the relative relationships among various life forms but in most cases it does not show a true "evolutionary tree" for those life forms.

 
Use caution; check the data before you use it. NOTE: the information presented throughout this website has NOT been reviewed by any person or organization. All information has been gathered and/or synthesized by me. I am doing my best to provide accurate data however, if you use material from this website for any reason, I would advise you do so with EXTREME CAUTION as there is a good chance that omissions, errors and/or outdated information may exist.
 
Current Life Form Record Totals
No. of GenusNo. of Species
74,244161,902

Top 20 Largest Vertebrate Family Groups
 Clad# of Genera
Perciformes416
Meridiungulata365
Conodonta336
Scleroglossa309
Muroidea305
Odontoceti216
Arthrodiriformes211
Serpentes174
Holocephali167
Pteraspidomorphi167
Other Elasmobranchs164
Cervoidea158
Nothosauroidea158
Syndactyli155
Mustelidae150
Pilosa149
Cingulata146
Other Archosaurs142
Palaeonisciformes136
Soricoidea135
 
 
Top 20 Largest Invertebrate Family Groups
 Clad# of Genera
Ammonoidea3,401
Podocopa1,742
Ectoprocta1,666
Heterodonta1,613
Neogastropoda1,451
Ptychopariida1,410
Pteriomorpha1,287
Scleractinia1,244
Rugosa1,218
Vetigastropoda1,076
Demospongiae960
Polyphaga908
Asaphida860
Productida800
Rhynchonellida778
Nautiloidea759
Terebratulida722
Pleocyemata666
Nematocera653
Wasps646
 
 

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