DateLife is currently being refactored to use OpenTree more throughly, as part of the Phylotastic project. The current functionality might break in the interim. Expect a relaunch in Summer 2016.

This will give the age of the most recent common ancestor of a set of taxa, or stretch an input tree, based on available time-calibrated trees. It is still actively in development, so it may break at times. Currently it mostly has mammals in the database, but we are actively adding taxa. See the FAQ page for more info on this project, and the Phylotastic page for more info. This was started at a NESCent hackathon, added to at others, and eventually NSF-funded as part of Phylotastic.

Use the syntax Genus_species,Genus_species: comma-delimited, no spaces, underscores in names, i.e.,
for a list of species in the taxa box, OR a Newick tree string, ending with a semicolon:
The tree can have branch lengths. Note that stretching a tree is much slower than just getting ages for a list of taxa. It uses a method by Eastman et al. 2013


Return format:
Note that to return a tree you'll need to provide at least three taxon names. The "best guesses" are just the medians of the results by study.

Partial match:

Use embargoed data:

How to deal with single point estimates (which have no uncertainty):

Taxonomic name resolution (converting input names to a standard taxonomy; will slow down analysis (~0.5s/taxon) but increase chance of matching):

Use approximate name matching (makes matching MUCH slower: perhaps 20s/taxon):

Prune taxa that don't match (otherwise, keep their original names):

Note source code is available at

We currently use the PhyloOrchard R package to store trees but are transitioning (late 2015) to use OpenTree's tree store. If you want PhyloOrchard, you can install it by doing
install.packages("PhyloOrchard", repos="")

DateLife is part of the Phylotastic project, funded by NSF. It uses resources from the Open Tree of Life project, rOpenSci, and TreeBase. To help, please add trees to OpenTree's database! [they can be yours or others']