Scientists have created the 'atlas of life'. It is the first global review and map highlighting the whereabouts of 31,000 vertebrate species on the Earth. It was led by researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK and Tel Aviv University in Israel, 39 scientists produced a catalogue and atlas of the world's reptiles.

The linking of this atlas with existing maps for birds, mammals and amphibians, the team found many new areas where conservation action is vital.

The study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, produces the new reptile atlas, which covers more than 10,000 species of snakes, lizards and turtles/tortoises.The data completes the world map of 31,000 species of humanity's closest relatives, including around 5,000 mammals, 10,000 birds and 6,000 frogs and salamanders.The map has revealed unexpected trends and regions of biodiversity fragility. These include the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant, inland arid southern Africa, the Asian steppes, and the high southern Andes.

Lizards especially tend to have weird distributions and often like hot and dry places, and so many of the newly identified conservation priority areas are in dry-lands and deserts.These do not tend to be priorities for birds or mammals. Finding the vital areas in arid regions is a good thing because the land is fairly cheap.However, deserts and drylands are also home to lots of other modern activities, such as major irrigation projects, huge new solar power developments, and sometimes widespread land degradation, war and conflict, they said.This makes them very challenging environment for conservationists to work.The maps have also allowed conservationists to ask whether environmental efforts to date have been invested in the right way, and how they could be used most effectively. Mapping the distributions of all reptiles was considered too difficult to tackle.

ATLAS: The word Atlas has a variety of meanings but the word normally refers to a sort of book that enlists a map of the world and in some cases, maps of individual countries as well. The book is normally used for a number of purposes and has a lot of variations available in the world. Even though a normal Atlas only contains a collection of maps of the world and certain areas of the world, there are even a few books that have maps of the entire Solar System and specific planets as well.

Brief History Of Atlas: The use of maps and cartography to understand the world has a very long history. It is believed that the name "atlas," meaning a collection of maps, came from the mythological Greek figure Atlas. Legend says that Atlas was forced to hold the earth and the heavens on his shoulders as a punishment from the gods. His image was often printed on books with maps and they eventually became known as atlases.The earliest known atlas is associated with the Greco-Roman geographer Claudius Ptolemy. His work, Geographia, was the first published book of cartography, consisting of the knowledge of the world's geography that was known around the time of the second century. Maps and manuscripts were written by hand at the time. Geographia's earliest surviving publications date back to 1475.


The first modern atlas was printed in 1570 by Abraham Ortelius, a Flemish cartographer and geographer. It was called Theatrum Orbis Terravrm, or Theater of the World. It was the first book of maps with images that were uniform in size and design. The first edition consisted of 70 different maps. Like Geographia, Theater of the World was extremely popular and it was printed in numerous editions from 1570 to 1724.

1.       The most common are desk or reference atlases, and travel atlases or road maps. Desk atlases are hardcover or paperback, but they're made like reference books and they include a variety of information about the areas they cover.

2.       Reference atlases are generally large and include maps, tables, graphs and other images and text to describe an area. The National Geographic Atlas of the World includes information about the entire globe, broken down into sections that discuss the human world and the natural world.

3.       Travel atlases and road maps are usually paperback and are sometimes spiral bound to make them easier to handle while traveling. They often do not include all the information that a reference atlas would, but instead focus on information that may be useful to travelers, such as specific road or highway networks, the locations of parks or other tourist spots, and, in some cases, the locations of specific stores and/or hotels.

People who want to know about the geographical importance of a country find Atlas useful as well. With the Atlas mentioning all the resources that the country gets access to because of the location, you can easily get to know a given country’s geographical importance. An atlas is the best study guide if you want to know about the geographical, economical, religious, cultural and political history of a country. An atlas contains a detailed account of each and everything about a given country and therefore, it can aid your research on a particular country like none other.