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Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body
Shubin, Neil
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List Price: $24.00
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Format: Hardcover, 229pp.
Date of publication: Jan 15 2008
Publisher: Pantheon Books
ISBN-13: 9780375424472
Dimensions: 21.69 cm. (length) X 14.88 cm. (width) X 2.36 cm. (thickness)
Weight: 404 grams
This book includes illustrations

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Author Note
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. [Edit review] [Delete review]
From the Publisher
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.... [More...] [Edit review] [Delete review]
Review
“A delightful introduction to our skeletal structure, viscera and other vital parts—and evidence that learning the secrets of the human body need not unhinge you. . . . [Shubin] is a warm and disarming guide. . . . Future researchers, aware that the ingredients of our evolutionary precursors are part of the human recipe, may well find new ways to prevent the wear and tear on our fish-begotten bodies. And who knows? Maybe one or two of them will have had their first taste of the marvels of human evolution in Neil Shubin’s anatomy class.” —Los Angeles Times

“With infectious enthusiasm, unfailing clarity, and laugh-out-loud humor, Neil Shubin has created a book on paleontology, genetics, genomics, and anatomy that is almost impossible to put down. In telling the story of why we are who we are, Shubin does more than show us our inner fish; he awakens and excites the inner scientist in us all.” —Pauline Chen, author of... [More...] [Edit review] [Delete review]
Excerpt
FINDING YOUR INNER FISH

Typical summers of my adult life are spent in snow and sleet, cracking rocks on cliffs well north of the Arctic Circle. Most of the time I freeze, get blisters, and find absolutely nothing. But if I have any luck, I find ancient fish bones. That may not sound like buried treasure to most people, but to me it is more valuable than gold.

Ancient fish bones can be a path to knowledge about who we are and how we got that way. We learn about our own bodies in seemingly bizarre places, ranging from the fossils of worms and fish recovered from rocks from around the world to the DNA in virtually every animal alive on earth today. But that does not explain my confidence about why skeletal remains from the past—and the remains of fish, no less—offer clues about the fundamental structure of our bodies.

How can we visualize events that happened millions and, in many cases, billions of years ago? Unfortunately, there were no... [More...] [Edit review] [Delete review]
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Browse related subjects:
• Science  >  Life Sciences - Evolution
• Medical  >  Anatomy
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