In Wild Planet 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.
In this exhibition you can discover the diversity of life and how all species are related. While each 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. It's important to realise, 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 thereby altering their conservation status.
The Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI) is a world-class research unit investigating such issues putting animals at risk, including impacts of climate change, biodiversity, 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 such as DNA to solve wildlife forensic mysteries and preserve the Tree of Life to put us on a path to a better future.