It emphasizes a common origin for body features such as limbs, hair, teeth and senses in both animals and humans.It emphasizes three types of alleged evidence: a) similarities between the body parts of living creatures, arguing for common ancestry, b) indications from microbiology which seem to argue the same way, and c) detailed examination of one apparent missing link—that between fish and amphibians: .There are remarkable analogies between body parts of creatures which otherwise differ widely. They have heads containing brains and sense organs, spinal columns with an anus at the opposite end of the body from the mouth and comparable plans of flippers, wings, legs and arms.

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It is illustrated mainly by Kalliopi Monoyios’ graphic and appealing black-and-white drawings.

The author puts his cards on the table from the start.

The book’s stimulating title indicates that the central thrust is evolutionary—seeking to explain humans as the product of a succession of life forms from an original cell.

It supports the whole multi-million year evolutionary sequence.

The author, Neil Shubin, is Professor of Anatomy at the University of Chicago and Provost of its field museum. His co-worker, Edward Daeschler, is Curator of Vertebrate Biology in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

The book is well researched with much information about earlier work and a comprehensive reference section.It is highly readable with the author’s modest and friendly personality coming through strongly.It incidentally includes a most useful guide to fossil hunting.Whales, birds and humans have single arm bones leading to two more which in turn connect to fingers or toes.In humans, this series runs from the humerus through the radius and ulna to the wrist bones and fingers.Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals all share hard teeth.