Quicklet on Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish
What's in the book?
Quicklets: Your reading sidekick!
- About the Book
- About the Author
- Important People
- Key Terms and Definitions
- Chapter-By-Chapter Commentary & Summary
- Additional Resources
ABOUT THE BOOK
In Your Inner Fish, Shubin attempts to explore the intersections of evolutionary biology and modern human anatomy. On his faculty page on the University of Chicago website, Neil Shubin writes:
“The philosophy that underlies all of my empirical work is derived from the conviction that progress in the study of evolutionary biology results from linking research across diverse temporal, phylogenetic, and structural scales.”
Writing in a friendly, accessible way, Shubin explains the various historical records that are encoded in the human body, from the structures of our eyes to the sequencing of our genes.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Nicole Cipri is a restless wanderer and passionate writer. A graduate of the Evergreen State School in Olympia, WA, Nicole has since written about such varied topics as modern urban farming, the role of glitterbombing as political theater, and the economic impacts of natural disasters.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
The book begins with Shubin’s first encounters with his own “inner fish.” He tells us about his expeditions to the far north in Canada, to Ellesmere Island, where he and his team of paleontologists and fossil finders scoured the rocks to try and find a transitional fossil from the time that the first animals were venturing onto land. The discovery of Tiktaalik Roseae is inarguably a transitional species, an intermediate between fish and the first land-walking tetrapods.
In this and in other species, scientists have been able to trace the twisting path of our own anatomy’s evolution. In Tiktaalik, we are able to see the beginning of our limbs, from the muscles in our shoulders and chest to the bones of our wrists. Shubin traces our connections to animals past and present. Each chapter is devoted to a different part of the body: our hands, facial nerves, teeth inner ear, eyes, brain, olfactory sense. He gives us personal anecdotes as well. He describes his career, from how he first learned to find fossils, to his team’s accidental uncovering of a tritheledont fossil, to the long search that led to finding Tiktaalik.
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