In 2004, paleontologist Neil Shubin made the discovery of a lifetime: A fossil, later named Tiktaalik, that appeared to bridge the gap between ocean dwelling fish and land walking amphibians. This high-interest video explains the history of Tiktaalik's discovery, as well as how the human body bears evidence of shared ancestry with ancient fish. Along the way, human rarities such as ancient "gills" and polydactyly (extra digits) are encountered, and much of the evidence for evolution is dramatically displayed such as DNA, shared morphology, and embryology. It appears as though the human arm shares the same bone pattern with all other terrestrial land animals, as well as ancient "fishapods" such as Tiktaalik. This shared pattern was first explained by Charles Darwin as the result of all terrestrial animals sharing a common ancestor that first had this pattern.
The PDF contains a two-sided video worksheet consisting of 44 multiple choice and true-or-false questions, along with an answer key, an MS Word download link, and an original drawing of Tiktaalik by R. McNeely. You will need to obtain a DVD of the video, use the PBS Internet site, or YouTube
The entire video series, Your Inner Fish, Your Inner Reptile, and Your Inner Monkey is available on the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Biointeractive
Neil Shubin's wonderful book Your Inner Fish
was the inspiration for this video series.
Note: The video contains some rude humor related to fish "gonads," as well as a human-hand dissection scene.