Mother Earth News Blogs > Ask Our Experts

Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.


What Are Good Online Sources for Looking Up Plants and Animals?

By Aubrey Vaughn


Tags: plants, animals, databases,

What are good online sources for looking up and learning about plants and animals?

The Web is a great place to learn about plant and animal life, whether you’re identifying a bird from your own backyard or want to find out more about the entire salamander family. Fortunately, there are a number of sites that provide good information. If you’re interested in plants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosts the PLANTS database of the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts and lichens in the United States and U.S. territories. You can also find information about almost 6,000 U.S. plants and animals using eNature. For an international selection of flora and fauna, check out the Encyclopedia of Life, or EOL. You can look up the species you want to know more about, or help build the EOL by contributing information (verified by the site’s panel of experts), photos or video about a specific plant or animal.

— Aubrey Vaughn, assistant editor