Your Inner Monkey | Your Inner Fish: An Evolution Story

It took more than 350 million years for the human body to take shape. Anatomist Neil Shubin reveals how our bodies are the legacy of ancient fish, reptiles and primates, the ancestors you never knew were in your family tree. Our bodies carry the anatomical legacy of animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Journeying to the Arctic, South Africa and Ethiopia, Neil uncovers an astonishing story spanning hundreds of millions of years, a tale full of strange facts and remarkable insights. Using fossils, embryos and genes, each of the three episodes focuses on a key transitional moment in the evolution of the human body - moving from the sea to land, relocating from the shore to living in trees, and coming down from the trees to walk upright on two legs. In the final episode, Neil tracks our hands, feet, colour 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.

Clip Info
  • Clip length: 54'36''
  • Broadcast year: 2015
Curriculum Connection
  • Science

Licence: ERA Licence required


UK only
Staff and students of licensed education establishments only
Cannot be adapted

  • Provider: BBC
  • Channel: BBC Four
  • Programme: Your Inner Fish: An Evolution Story
  • Episode: Your Inner Monkey