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  1. Dear Alexis. Thank you so much for your ideas/suggestions. I love the idea. The down sides, are that there are potentially as many transitional points or clades or nodes, as species, so it is not practical with several million species, not least given our very limited voluntary staff and resources. Also, when one finds the most recent common ancestor (between two or more chosen species or clades) and the program traces lines of ascent from it, which line do you follow of the two or more selected species? For example, between a thylacine and a wolf. They both look similar, but a wolf is more related to an elephant than a thylacine. And do you trace it to the thylacine or the wolf? The up sides are as follows. The MRCA is something we already have. I also already have several hundred silhouette images for clades. I use Mike Keesey’s Phylopic art (http://phylopic.org/) which is free, but it obviously has only a tiny proportion of all the ever growing clades. Making a program to show the transitions selected is a great idea. One way to enable this, given the huge number required, is to do it gradually. So at first, you may just see 5 transitions, but later you may have 20, over time, as we add more. This way it is an ongoing process that works from the off, rather than having to wait to even start it. We have developers who I think could make the programme. I have always wanted visuals like this, e.g. on each node, but I love your idea of visually transitioning things when selected. I will speak to the team about this. Are you a programmer? Do you have any skills or interest in helping the project in any way? There are many things which require no skills by the way, let alone biological ones. If you would be interested in being on a committee where we discuss ideas and the like, I think you could be a real asset. If so, let me know. Thanks again, Alexis. Steve
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