New Science Miniseries Details Human Evolution

Airdate: 
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 9:00pm

How did the human body become the complicated, quirky, and amazing machine it is today? Your Inner Fish, a cutting-edge scientific adventure reveals a startling truth: hidden within the human body is a story of life on Earth, and the legacy of animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago.  Based on the best-selling book by program host Neil Shubin, the series travels from Africa to the Arctic Circle to uncover the 3.5 billion year history of the human body — and how a colorful cast of ancient characters made us who we are today.

The three-part mininseries, airing on KUED over three Wednesday nights at 9:00 p.m. beginning April 9, begins with a look at a key moment in our evolutionary saga that occurred 200 million years ago, when the ferocious reptile-like animals that roamed the Earth were in the process of evolving into shrew-like mammals. But our reptilian ancestors left their mark on many parts of the human body, including our skin, teeth and ears.

The second episode, Your Inner Reptile, shows how our arms, legs, necks, and lungs were bequeathed to us by a fish that lumbered onto land some 375 million years ago. The genetic legacy of this creature can be seen today in our own DNA, including the genes used to build our hands and limbs.

The final episode, Your Inner Monkey, shows how our primate progenitors had bodies a lot like those of modern monkeys and spent tens of millions of years living in trees. From them we inherited our versatile hands, amazing vision and capable brains — but also some less beneficial traits, including our bad backs and terrible sense of smell. 

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