Episode 1: Your Inner Fish
Neil begins a 375 million year old journey back in time in his anatomy lab in Chicago dissecting a human hand and ends in the high Arctic discovering a fish fossil that’s on the cusp of change.
It’s the story of how the basic shape of our hands and limbs can be traced back to the fins of an ancient fish that first crawled onto land. As well as hunting for fossils, he looks for the origin of limbs in the developing embryos of animals that share a common ancestor with us.
The genes that control limb growth in chickens, fruit flies and fish are also in us. This set of genes that shapes the human hand also forms the wings of chickens and the fins of fish. By combining both fossil and DNA evidence he explores the ancient history of our bodies. According to Neil Shubin we are, every one of us, just a jerry-rigged fish.