Your Inner Fish: a Journey into the 3.5-billion-year History of the Human Body

Your Inner Fish: a Journey into the 3.5-billion-year History of the Human Body

Microfilm

By (author) Neil Shubin

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Microfilm | 229 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 211mm x 18mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 15 January 2008
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0375424474
  • ISBN 13: 9780375424472
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps
  • Sales rank: 347,616

Product description

Why do we look the way we do? What does the human hand have in common with the wing of a fly? Are breasts, sweat glands, and scales connected in some way? To better understand the inner workings of our bodies and to trace the origins of many of today's most common diseases, we have to turn to unexpected sources: worms, flies, and even fish. Neil Shubin, a leading paleontologist and professor of anatomy who discovered "Tiktaalik"--the "missing link" that made headlines around the world in April 2006--tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth. By examining fossils and DNA, Shubin shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our head is organized like that of a long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genome look and function like those of worms and bacteria. Shubin makes us see ourselves and our world in a completely new light. "Your Inner Fish "is science writing at its finest--enlightening, accessible, and told with irresistible enthusiasm.

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Author information

NEIL SHUBIN is provost of The Field Museum as well as a professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago, where he also serves as an associate dean. Educated at Columbia, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley, he lives in Chicago.

Review quote

"A skillful writer, paleontologist Shubin conveys infectious enthusiasm. . . . Even readers with only a layperson's knowledge of evolution will learn marvelous things about the unity of all organisms since the beginning of life." --"Kirkus Reviews "(starred review) "Fish paleontologist Shubin illuminates the subject of evolution with humor and clarity in this compelling look at how the human body evolved into its present state. . . . Shubin moves smoothly through the anatomical spectrum. . . . [He] excels at explaining the science, making each discovery an adventure." --"Publishers Weekly" "I was hooked from the first chapter of "Your Inner Fish," Creationists will want this book banned because it presents irrefutable evidence for a transitional creature that set the stage for the journey from sea to land. This engaging book combines the excitement of discovery with the rigors of great scholarship to provide a convincing case of evolution from fish to man." --Don Johanson, director, Institute of Human Origins; discoverer of "Lucy" "In this extraordinary book, Neil Shubin takes us on an epic expedition to arctic wastelands, where his team discovered amazing new fossil evidence of creatures that bridge the gap between fish and land-living animals. . . .With clarity and wit, Shubin shows us how exciting it is to be in the new age of discovery in evolutionary biology." --Mike Novacek, author of "Terra: Our 100 Million Year Ecosystem and the Threats That Now Put It at Risk" "Cleverly weaving together adventures in paleontology with very accessible science, Neil Shubin reveals the many surprisingly deep connections between our anatomy and that of fish, reptiles, and other creatures. You will never look at your body in the same way again--examine, embrace, and exalt "Your Inner Fish!" "--Sean Carroll, author of "The Making of Fittest "and "Endless Forms Most Beautiful ""If you thought paleontology was all about "Jurassic Park," take a look at this eye-opening book. Shubin takes us back 375 million years, to a time when a strange fish-like creature swam (or crawled) in shallow streams. Come along on this thrilling paleontological journey and learn how living things--including you--got to be what they are." --Richard Ellis, author of "Encyclopedia of the Sea ""The human story didn't start with the first bipeds; it began literally billions of years ago. In this easy-reading volume, Shubin shows us how to discover that long and fascinating history in the structure of our own bodies while weaving in a charming account of his own scientific journey. This is the ideal book for anyone who wants to explore beyond the usual anthropocentric account of human origins." --Ian Tattersall, curator, American Museum of Natural History