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Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

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Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body Cover

ISBN13: 9780375424472
ISBN10: 0375424474
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

Neil Shubin makes tracing our evolutionary origins positively fascinating. Through his work in expeditionary paleontology, Shubin explains the genetic correlations between humans and the animals that inhabited our planet billions of years ago. In a wonderfully conversational tone, he uses the discovery and study of ancient fish bones to make a convincing case for the idea that we have evolved, in part, from fish.
Recommended by Kyle, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

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. Parsing the millennia-old genetic history of the human form is a natural project for Shubin, who chairs the department of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago and was co-discoverer of Tiktaalik, a 375-million-year-old fossil fish whose flat skull and limbs, and finger, toe, ankle and wrist bones, provide a link between fish and the earliest land-dwelling creatures. Shubin moves smoothly through the anatomical spectrum, finding ancient precursors to human teeth in a 200-million-year-old fossil of the mouse-size 'part animal, part reptile' tritheledont; he also notes cellular similarities between humans and sponges. Other fossils reveal the origins of our senses, from the eye to that 'wonderful Rube Goldberg contraption' the ear. Shubin excels at explaining the science, making each discovery an adventure, whether it's a Pennsylvania roadcut or a stony outcrop beset by polar bears and howling Arctic winds. 'I can imagine few things more beautiful or intellectually profound than finding the basis for our humanity... nestled inside some of the most humble creatures that ever lived,' he writes, and curious readers are likely to agree. Illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"For the first time, Americans have the chance to meet an ancient ancestor. Lucy, the famous 3.2-million-year-old, human-like fossil from Ethiopia, is here on tour. For the next six years, you can visit her at museums across the country and stare into the mirror of your own past.

But in 'Your Inner Fish,' Neil Shubin describes a fossil named Tiktaalik that makes Lucy's time on Earth... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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"

Review:

"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

Review:

"[A] wonder-filled introduction to our evolutionary heritage for lower-level undergraduates and the general public." Library Journal

Synopsis:

From the scientist who made the groundbreaking discovery of the fish with hands, here is a lively, thoroughly engrossing chronicle of evolutionary history that unearths the often startling secrets behind why we look and behave the way we do. Illustrations.

About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

MWilliams, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by MWilliams)
Fascinating, easy to understand read on the newest knowledge about evolution. Explains why we look how we do from an evolutionary standpoint. Very interesting stuff!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
deep thinker, March 18, 2008 (view all comments by deep thinker)
In a highly accessible and engaging manner Dr. Shubin manages to take us back millions of years to show how various parts of the human anatomy developed from, of all things, fish. The stories of his time in the field searching for fossils only builds to the excitement of his discovery of Tiktaalik and evolutionary connections he is able to make. The illustrations by Kalliopi Monoyios are amazing and add to the well developed arguments presented by Shubin. This book makes you think - I loved it, and look forward to more books by Dr. Shubin.
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(12 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375424472
Author:
Shubin, Neil
Publisher:
Pantheon Books
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution
Subject:
Human Anatomy
Subject:
Human evolution
Subject:
Anatomy
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution - Human
Subject:
Life Sciences - Human Anatomy & Physiology
Subject:
Evolution
Subject:
Biology-Evolution
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW DRAWINGS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.54x5.86x.93 in. .89 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Paleontology
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Evolution

Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Random House - English 9780375424472 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Neil Shubin makes tracing our evolutionary origins positively fascinating. Through his work in expeditionary paleontology, Shubin explains the genetic correlations between humans and the animals that inhabited our planet billions of years ago. In a wonderfully conversational tone, he uses the discovery and study of ancient fish bones to make a convincing case for the idea that we have evolved, in part, from fish.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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. Parsing the millennia-old genetic history of the human form is a natural project for Shubin, who chairs the department of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago and was co-discoverer of Tiktaalik, a 375-million-year-old fossil fish whose flat skull and limbs, and finger, toe, ankle and wrist bones, provide a link between fish and the earliest land-dwelling creatures. Shubin moves smoothly through the anatomical spectrum, finding ancient precursors to human teeth in a 200-million-year-old fossil of the mouse-size 'part animal, part reptile' tritheledont; he also notes cellular similarities between humans and sponges. Other fossils reveal the origins of our senses, from the eye to that 'wonderful Rube Goldberg contraption' the ear. Shubin excels at explaining the science, making each discovery an adventure, whether it's a Pennsylvania roadcut or a stony outcrop beset by polar bears and howling Arctic winds. 'I can imagine few things more beautiful or intellectually profound than finding the basis for our humanity... nestled inside some of the most humble creatures that ever lived,' he writes, and curious readers are likely to agree. Illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "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!"
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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
"Review" by , "[A] wonder-filled introduction to our evolutionary heritage for lower-level undergraduates and the general public."
"Synopsis" by , From the scientist who made the groundbreaking discovery of the fish with hands, here is a lively, thoroughly engrossing chronicle of evolutionary history that unearths the often startling secrets behind why we look and behave the way we do. Illustrations.
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