There are many ways to explore EOL, but the most powerful are EOL's Search and Data Search capabilities.
You'll find a search box at the top of every EOL page as well as in the middle of the EOL home page.
By typing text into the Search box and hitting the "return" or "enter" key on your computer (or selecting the "go" button next to the search box), you can start the process of exploring the hundreds of thousands of pages of content and images EOL has gathered for you.
You can search on the common name of a creature, such as "whale shark", or a scientific name, such as "Rhincodon typus". You can also search for EOL Collections, EOL Communities or even EOL members. Give it a try!
If EOL has a "best page" for your search, you'll be taken directly to that page. To view all the other search results available to you, click on the link found in the message at the top of the page you're shown.
If EOL has a number of items that could meet your needs, you'll be taken to the EOL search results page. EOL uses icons to help you quickly understand what sort of items your search turned up. Click on an item to view it.
For EOL Taxon Pages, we will give you a hint of the taxonomic groupings it is in (such as "Animalia > Rhincodontidae"), and thumbnail image of the creature if we have one.
If EOL thinks you have made a spelling error, you will be given a choice of items to select from.
EOL gives you the ability to "filter" your search results to focus on the specific sorts of items you'reinterested in. Click on one or more of the items you want to focus on and click on the "filter" button.
On the Data Search page, you can search for organisms which have data available for particular traits, like the tiniest mammal body masses or penguin nest types. You can search for all the data we have for a given trait, or you can refine your search: a search for a quantitative trait can be constrained to fetch only organisms whose values fall in a certain range; a search for a categorical trait can be limited to only a certain category. Any search can also be performed within a taxonomic group; you can enter a scientific name or a common name (eg: penguins) to filter your search this way. You can download the results of your data search as a spreadsheet.
Please Note - As EOL gathers information from many different content providers, from time to time you may find multiple pages that seem to be the same, perhaps with different spelling or organized differently in the Tree of Life. The diversity of scientific opinions reflected in the variety of our sources that contribute to EOL means that you may have to do some searching to locate the information you want. We are constantly working to make it easier and faster to search EOL, and value your input. Thank you!