60-Second Science

Your Inner Fish Swims onto the Small Screen

Paleontologist Neil Shubin's 2008 book Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body comes to PBS in a three-part series airing April 9, 16th and 23rd. Steve Mirsky reports


Your inner fish is an epic journey inside our own bodies.”

That’s University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin, author of the 2008 book Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. 

“Within each of us, in every organ, every cell, every gene, we have over three billion years of the history of life. When we put that all together we come up with this wonderful story about how deeply we are connected to the rest of life on our planet.”

And Your Inner Fish comes to television starting April 9 and continuing for the next two Wednesday nights on PBS.

“Let’s take a fish we found from the Arctic. This fish has fins. But when you open up the fins you find bones that correspond to the upper arm, the forearm, even parts of the wrist. And what’s amazing about that is we can trace that fish to amphibians to reptiles to primates, all the way to us.

“The transition from life in water to life on land is not some strange event in the history of life, it’s an event that’s embedded in our bodies. Every time we bend our wrists, every time we breathe with our lungs, we can thank those fish evolving in streams 375 million years ago.”

—Steve Mirsky

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

[Editor’s Note: Scientific American was not compensated for this de facto promotional podcast. We support public education about evolution as it is in the national interest to have a scientifically literate populace.]

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