Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin
By Victor Tanner
Neil Shubin, a professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago, writes an entertaining book that feels much more like a journey through time in which we can watch the evolutionary process take place. But, instead of going back to the much visited time of our primate ancestors, he takes us way way back to the time when fish were the most advanced creatures on the planet. Along the way he tells us about some interesting remnants of our fishy past; like the evolution of hiccups, which is an anotomical remnant of the breathing method of tadpoles.
Our anatomy is, of course, just a derivation of our ancestor’s anatomy. But, once we took beyond mammals, it can get pretty difficult to see our resemblances to the other creatures of our planet. Shubin points out the origins of our eyes, ears, nose, and other body parts and shows how they developed from early fish. It’s an interesting anatomy lesson that will make sure you never think of your body the same way again.
By interweaving the science in between tales of the day to day aspects of fossil hunting, Neil not only makes the narrative intriguing and profound, but he makes the world of paleontology much more accessible.