Darwin Evolving: Distinguished Naturalists

Dr. Neil Shubin April 22, 2009

Neil Shubin

" Finding Your Inner Fish"

Why do we look the way we do? What does the human hand have in common with the wing of a fly? Neil Shubin, leading paleontologist and discoverer of a key 375 million year old transitional form between fish and land-living animals, Tiktaalik roseae, will talk about how fossils are found and how they can help us understand the inner workings of our own bodies. By examining ancient fossils and DNA, the similarities between our hands and fish fins, our throats and fish gills, are revealed. You may never look at yourself the same way again!


Robert R. Bensley Professor, Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago. Dr. Shubin researches the evolutionary origin of anatomical features of animals in the field and lab with a special interest in the evolution of the earliest land animals. He has hunted fossils in the Arctic, China, Africa and South America, and his most recent discovery, the 375 million year old Tiktaalik roseae, has been dubbed the "missing link" between fish and land animals. Dr. Shubin recently published the book Your Inner Fish : A Journey into the 3.5 Billion Year History of the Human Body (2007).