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Jeff Woods Ruth Goldstein Anthropology 162 9/13/15

Figure 1.
All human-documented species of cellular life, arranged by proximity in space and time to humanity, and by
net increase/decrease in species populations due to human activity.

Figure 2A.
Axes of taxonomic cube.

Figure 2B.
Visual thesis for this project:
Simplified axes suitable for T-shirt designs.

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This taxonomy is a hypothetical, holographic database of all species that humans have ever seen living,
with each species mapped as one point on three axes, defined by the following criteria:

Chronological proximity
to human evolution,
younger (+) or older (-)


Representative Species

Millions/thousands of years,
with recent outliers in
thousands/hundreds of years

Galapagos finches and the like (speciation

events observed during the course of
human history) and bioengineered life
plot to the positive end.

Time of species estimated

appearance before or after
humanitys birthdate of
2 million years ago.

Living fossil species (horseshoe crab,

gingko tree, coelacanth) cluster at the
negative end.

Atmospheric life at positive end, deep-sea

life at negative end.
Meters in powers of ten
Geospatial proximity
to modern humanity,
above (+) or below (-)

Vector sum measurement of

vertical and horizontal range
overlap with the worldwide
habitat distribution of homo

Most terrestrial species will fall within a

swath of the middle, with human
intestinal microbiota in the exact center,
but their range will be capped on one side
by species that frequently cohabitate with
humans (pets, livestock, plants, pests,
pathogens) and on another side by species
that live in areas mostly uninhabited by
humans (rare island species, species found
in Antarctica and other deserts).

Estimated individuals per time unit

Anthropocene impact,
positive (+) or negative (-)

Net population change in species

since the beginning of the
Anthropocene era (1610, 1945,
and 1965 are all proposed dates).
If that measurement is too difficult
to estimate, use scored
measurement of anthropocentric
impact, such as conservation

Positive end marks species propagated by

humans (largely the same as those that
cohabitate, especially domesticated plants
and animals), and animals with expanded
ranges and niches due to global warming
(gray nurse shark, albatross, tropical
Negative end includes species endangered
or extincted by human activity (dodos,
passenger pigeons, prehistoric European
megafauna, modern African megafauna).
Species neutrally resistant to climate
change or in habitats closed off from rest
of biosphere (underground and undersea
species) lie in middle.

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