Monday, March 11, 2019

Tattoo Monday XVII

Here are seven more tattoos in our compilation of evolutionary tree tattoos from around the internet. For more examples of the circular design for a phylogenetic tree, in a variety of body locations, see Tattoo Monday V, Tattoo Monday VII, Tattoo Monday X and Tattoo Monday XI.

At the bottom of this post is an unusual linearized version of this same type of tree.


  1. Would it be possible to make a phylogeny of life tree like these tattoos but stylized in the way you guys did on your Oct 31 2012 post? It is beautiful and would make the perfect tattoo.

    1. Yes, it is possible. One has to find an appropriate phylogeny, and then draw it in the desired style.

    2. An add-on practical tip.

      There are various software packages to change the style of the tree, and print it out as a template for the tattoo-artist.

      E.g. Dendroscope, it's a free, platform-independent software that has several option to draw the tree such as radial (star-like) and circular (which makes nice round tattoos) with different (graphical) flavours and you can export it in various formats including svg and eps in case you want to add more graphics (doodle, background images etc). You can also collapse subtrees to fans (in case you want to tattoo a very large, tip-rich tree). It's all button with little explanation, so easy use even for those without experience with phylogenetic software.

      And alternative is FigTree, which also is platform-independent programme with some nice graphical feats to prepare the tree.

      The only tricky bit is to get the input tree to read-in (unless you take your own). The best format is the NEWICK-tree format, which is a text composed of brackets with the names of the organisms in there.
      One resource where such files (often have the ending *.tre, *.tree, *.new, *newick) are found is TreeBASE