What is EOL? - Information and pictures of all species known to science

Our knowledge of the many life-forms on Earth - of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria - is scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, and in the minds of people everywhere. Imagine what it would mean if this information could be gathered together and made available to everyone – anywhere – at a moment’s notice.

This dream is becoming a reality through the Encyclopedia of Life. 

Our Vision: Global access to knowledge about life on Earth.

Our Mission: To increase awareness and understanding of living nature through an Encyclopedia of Life that gathers, generates, and shares knowledge in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource.

EOL is supported by  the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the following institutions:

  • Atlas of Living Australia
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • La Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO)
  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • Harvard University
  • India Biodiversity Portal
  • El Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)
  • Marine Biological Laboratory
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • NCB Naturalis -  the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity
  • New Library of Alexandria
  • Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • South African National Biodiversity Institution (SANBI)
  • TaiEOL