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New book reveals an evolutionary journey of the human body
Date:1/8/2008

Paleontologist Neil Shubin unites the discoveries of fossils and the sciences of paleontology and genetics with his experience of teaching human anatomy into a written voyage of evolution, titled Your Inner Fish: A Journey Through the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body.

The best road maps to human bodies lie in the bodies of other animals, Shubin writes in his new book, which will be available Jan. 15. The reason is that the bodies of these creatures are often simpler versions of ours.

In Your Inner Fish, Shubin, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for organismal and evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago, and provost of the Field Museum, uses new fossil finds, genetic discoveries and animal anatomy to trace the origins of humans and the evolution of different body parts, such as limbs, teeth, head, ears and eyes. He explains how everything that is apparently unique about humans is built from parts that are shared with other creatures.

I was hooked from the first chapter, writes paleoanthropologist Don Johanson, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, and co-discoverer of Lucy. 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.

In 2006, the public was overwhelmed with news on the discovery of Tiktaalik roseae, a fossil fishapod that represents the transition between fish and four-legged animals, known as tetrapods. This finding gave us powerful new insights into the invasion of land by fish over 375 million years ago, said Shubin, one of the fossil discoverers. This finding was his impetus to write the book.

Shubin explains why fossils are one of the major lines of evidence to understand the human b
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Contact: Catherine Gianaro
catherine.gianaro@uchospitals.edu
773-702-6241
University of Chicago Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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