This little book reports the discovery of one of the most spectacular transitional fossils of recent years, that of Tiktaalik. It’s a fish that crawled ashore 375 million years ago with limbs and a skull that are more similar to those of terrestrial vertebrates.
The author is a paleontologist who also happens to teach anatomy in a medical school. He claims that it would be far easier for students to comprehend seemingly illogical anatomical structures, if they looked into their actual phylogenetic past. Have you ever wondered, for example, what the three minute bones in your middle ear are doing? How did they get there? They used to be parts of the jaw of fish. The book is loaded with tons of plausible facts one wouldn’t find in anatomy textbooks.
Highly recommended, especially to blockheaded medical students and practising physicians who don’t know the first thing about evolution through natural selection.
Not incidentally, it is shortlisted for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books, the winner (out of six) of which is to be announced in September