Scientists compile ‘book of life’

From BBC:

Laun Long-snouted aardvarks will rub shoulders with skunk-like zorillas in an ambitious plan to provide a virtual snapshot of life on Earth. The Encyclopedia of Life project aims to detail all 1.8 million known plant and animal species in a net archive. Individual species pages will include photographs, video, sound and maps, collected and written by experts.

The archive, to be built over 10 years, could help conservation efforts as well as being a useful tool for education. “The Encyclopedia of Life will provide valuable biodiversity and conservation information to anyone, anywhere, at any time,” said Dr James Edwards, executive director of the $100m (£50m) project. “[It] will ultimately make high-quality, well-organized information available on an unprecedented level.” The vast database will initially concentrate on animals, plants and fungi with microbes to follow. Fossil species may eventually be added.

More here.