Animal Diversity Web

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Animal Diversity Web (ADW) is an online database that collects the natural history, classification, species characteristics, conservation biology, and distribution information of thousands of species of animals. It includes thousands of photographs, hundreds of sound clips, and a virtual museum.


The ADW acts as an online encyclopedia, with each individual species account displaying basic information specific to that species. Each species account includes geographic range, habitat, physical description, reproduction, life span, communication and perception, behavior, food habits, predation, and conservation status.

The ADW was created by Philip Myers, a biology professor at the University of Michigan, in 1995.[1] Each account is written by both students and teachers at 30 colleges and universities across the United States. Species accounts are often assigned to college students as class projects. Each account is thoroughly researched using peer reviewed scientific journals and research papers and is edited by both the professors and staff at the ADW.

Along with species accounts, the ADW has over 350 accounts of higher taxonomic groups, as well as classification lists of hundreds of thousands of species that do not yet have accounts.


  1. ^ Erickson, Jim (4 January 2013). "Revamped Animal Diversity Web reaching millions worldwide 18 years after launch". The University Record. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 

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