Thursday, August 7, 2008


human nature & human nurture


Dolphin kick

Your Inner Fish: Human anatomy article

Human anatomy is a formative experience in the training of future physicians -- it is the students' grand introduction to the body, when they memorize the names of bones, organs and nerves as they painstakingly dissect a real cadaver. That first year, as well as in years after, the medical students were curious about what kind of doctor I am. I am a fish paleontologist who studies finned creatures that have been extinct for more than 370 million years. Seeing the history inside our bodies is like peeling an onion: The first layers we see reveal the history we share with primates (large brains and opposable thumbs). Peel deeper and we find the layers of history shared with other mammals (hair and breasts), reptiles (our distinctive way of chewing food), fish (arms, legs, backbones and heads), worms (an anus on one side of the body and a mouth on the other), jellyfish (the DNA recipe that builds our bodies), sponges (our many celled bodies) and so on.Article

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