Here you will learn about the diversity of life on planet Earth, and how Earth’s millions of species are all unique but connected through evolution.
The overall effect of the colour scheme in the 60m long gallery is cool and clean. The ceiling and the 20m high walls are painted cream; the window architraves and 40cm high moulded skirting are painted gloss white and the wooden floorboards are finished with a matt teak stain.
The ceiling is supported at intervals by dual square Corinthian columns painted the same colour as the walls. The most impressive feature of the gallery is the coffered ceiling. Within each section of the gallery, between the columns, the ceiling is divided into nine boxed rectangular sections, about 75cm deep. The internal borders of each box is outlined with a 40cm moulding. The mouldings and the perimeter beams are painted in white gloss. The ceiling within the boxed sections is painted cream. Lighting bars secured to the beams of the coffered ceiling support numerous small spotlights which are angled to highlight the exhibits.
In this exhibition you can discover the diversity of life and how all species are related. While species are unique, they may share the same habitat, features or lifestyle, and are all genetically related, albeit to different degrees. We use their physical and genetic features to create the 'ultimate diagram' connecting all species, called the 'Tree of Life'.
The Tree of Life is used to understand ‘evolutionary distinctiveness’ – in other words, a species on its own long branch is considered evolutionarily distinctive because it has no close relatives. If we lose branches on the Tree through species extinction, we lose history and evolutionary diversity. Branches of the Tree of Life are being broken through human causes such as climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and hunting – all of which put animals at risk, altering their conservation status.
The Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI) is a world-class research unit committed to tackling the challenges of climate change, biodiversity and environmental conservation and biosecurity. With a team of over 100 scientists and collection officers, our research is underpinned by our extensive natural science collections and scientific facilities including the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics and the Lizard Island Research Station on the Great Barrier reef.
Our scientists discover and document the biodiversity of Australia’s animals, identify dangerous invasive species and use molecular techniques (DNA) to solve wildlife forensic mysteries and preserve the Tree of Life to put us on a path to a better future.