• Praise for
    Your Inner Fish:

    "After watching the series, it's difficult not to wonder whether it's too late to become a paleontologist or evolutionary biologist because Shubin and his peers appear to be having a blast. All in all, "Your Inner Fish" reminds us what smart TV really is..." - L.A. Times

    "The show's creators want viewers to be enraptured not just by scientific results but also by the halting, messy, failure-ridden scientific process itself..." - USA Today

    "Shubin is an engaging guide for a trip across time and continents and complexity, making room for humor and providing clarity for non-scientists — all while asserting the imperative of scientific theory and indings in a sometimes-doubting world…" - Associated Press

    "Dr. Shubin conveys his enthusiasm without leaving the rest of us behind…" - New York Times

    "When Shubin’s eyes light up at the sight of baby monkeys and sea worms alike, it’s clear that he means what he says when he talks about the wondrous interconnectedness of life. And Your Inner Fish is, at heart, that same enthusiasm on a grand scale…" - A.V. Club

Your Inner Fish

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View clips online at PBS.org!

Your inner ear comes from the jawbone of a prehistoric fish. Your skin and hair can be traced to a shrew-like mammal that lived around 165 million years ago. As for your trick knee—well, you can thank your primate ancestors for that.

It took more than 350 million years for the human body to take shape. How did it become the complicated, quirky, and amazing machine it is today?

Your Inner Fish delves deep into the past to find the answers. The series will reveal a startling truth: hidden within the human body is a history of life on Earth.

That’s because our bodies carry the anatomical legacy of animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. From them we inherited our most remarkable features—as well as some of our strangest quirks, from hiccups to hernias.

Co-produced with Windfall Films and based on the best-selling book by Neil Shubin, this three-part story takes us from Africa to the Arctic Circle to uncover the 3.5-billion-year history of the human body—and how our ancient ancestors still shape our anatomical destiny. Each episode will focus on a major transition in evolutionary history, along with the body features we inherited from a surprising collection of ancient creatures:

Episode 1: "Your Inner Fish" connects our limbs, necks and lungs to a fish with limbs that crawled onto land 375 million years ago.

Episode 2: "Your Inner Reptile" traces our hair, skin, teeth, jaws, and sense of hearing back to reptilian ancestors – from ferocious beasts that ruled the earth to a little shrew-like animal that lived 195 million years ago.

Episode 3: "Your Inner Monkey" tracks our hands, feet, color vision, spine and upright gait to our primate and hominid progenitors, who also passed on perhaps the most important legacy of all: a path to the human brain.

The series is both an epic saga and a modern-day detective story — by turns surprising, funny, and deeply profound. Come face-to-face with your "inner fish" in this completely new take on the human body. After seeing the world through Neil Shubin's eyes, you'll never look at yourself in quite the same way again!

2014 Science Media Awards Laurels

 

ABOUT THE HOST

Neil Shubin is an anatomist and paleontologist based at the University of Chicago. For more information on Shubin, visit the Your Inner Fish page on PBS.org.

LEARN MORE

For Educators

Find classroom resources for Your Inner Fish at BioInteractive.


For Viewers

For exclusive video content and a human body interactive, visit Your Inner Fish on PBS.org.

AWARDS

Wildscreen (Nomination)

Science Award: Your Inner Fish, Episode 1

Jackson Hole Science and Media Awards (Finalist)

Best Earth Sciences Program: Your Inner Fish, Episode 2

Best Biological/Life Sciences Program: Your Inner Fish, Episode 1

Best Limited Series: Your Inner Fish

Best Short Program: Your Inner Fish, We Hear with the Bones that Reptiles Eat With

Best Visualization: Your Inner Fish, Episode 1

Best Writing: Your Inner Fish, Episode 1

Best Editing: Your Inner Fish, Episode 2

 

CREDITS

Presenter:
Neil Shubin

Executive Producer:
Michael Rosenfeld

Series Producer and Director:
David Dugan

Directors:
Tom Cook, Alex Tate

Editors:
Sabrina Burnard, Gary Crystal, Paul Shepard

Visual Effects:
Jellyfish Pictures


Senior Producer:
David Elisco

Scientific Advisors:
John Hawks, Peter Holland, Jon Kaas, Cliff Tabin, Carl Zimmer

 

 

For Windfall Films

 

Assistant Producers:
Peter Fison, Kelly Neaves

Line Producer:
Karen Lee

Head of Production:
Kristina Obradovic

Junior Production Manager:
Ulrike Pflanz

Edit Assistant:
Will Fiennes

Junior Researcher:
Fiona Clarke

Accountant:
Sue Harvard

 

 

For Tangled Bank Studios

 

Executive in Charge:
Sean Carroll

Director of Production:
Lori Beane

Senior Researcher:
Laura Helft

Researcher:
Lia Kvatum

Senior Producer:
Anne Tarrant

Line Producer:
Heather Forbes

 

Download a full list of credits here.