Saturday, April 19, 2014

This is fantastic! Here is the first episode of "Your Inner Fish"

by Salman Hameed

When it comes to science documentaries, all of the attention is currently focused on the new Cosmos. This is good. But in all this, people might be missing a superb series on PBS called Your Inner Fish. It is based on the excellent book of the same title, and the show is hosted by its author, Neil Shubin. What I like about the show is that there is an enormous emphasis on "how" we know what we know about evolution. Shubin is well known for his discovery of a flat-headed fish named Tiktaalik which is considered to be the transitionary animal from water to land. The first episode talks it and that whole segment is very well done. But I loved the bit about the study of chickens eggs to understand how our limbs might have formed (it starts about 35 minutes into the first episode, but you should watch the full episode anyways). This is absolutely riveting stuff! Here is the first episode (the embedded video is on Youtube - but for folks in Pakistan, where Youtube is still banned, you can go and watch the videos here):



The second episode focused on "Your Inner Reptile". I will embed it when it is available. It also had an excellent segment on egg yolks (didn't know that humans have the egg part, but the genes that regulate the yolk are no longer functioning) and another fantastic one on our skins and its reptilian origins. You can watch the full episode on the PBS website. But here is a short segment from episode 2 that talks about the way smaller bones from reptilian jaws were later accommodated into mammalian ears. Fascinating stuff!

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