Shop now Shop Now Shop now Shop Cyber Monday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Amazon Fire TV Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Kids Edition Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £5.49

Save £4.50 (45%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

Your Inner Fish: The amazing discovery of our 375-million-year-old ancestor Kindle Edition

67 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"

Length: 256 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Get a Free Kindle Book
Between now and 26 February 2016 you can earn a free Kindle Book by simply downloading and registering the free Kindle reading app, buying a Kindle Book, or buying a book. Learn more

Product Description


'Profoundly fascinating !a magisterial work...if you want to understand the evolutionary history of man and other animals read this' Financial Times 'Stunning case histories!dazzling work ... Shubin's style is light and easygoing' Guardian 'Simple, passionate writing!a twenty-first-century anatomy lesson' Nature 'Fascinating!his conclusions take our history back to scarcely conceivable eras and forms' New Statesman 'A compelling evolutionary story... that unpacks the history of our bones' New Scientist 'An intelligent, exhilarating, and compelling scientific adventure story, one which will change forever how you understand what it means to be human' Oliver Sacks

Financial Times

'Profoundly fascinating... a magisterial work... if you want to understand the evolutionary history of man and other animals read this.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2683 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 Jan. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9392
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,899 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 111 people found the following review helpful By David W. Straight on 24 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
(from my review)

This is the most enjoyable book I've read on evolution since Gould's fine Wonderful Life. Shubin not only combines great skills in paleontology and anatomy with an insatiable curiosity, but he also has a rare gift at writing as well. The book looks at aspects of human anatomy and senses--hands, smell, hearing, vision, etc--and traces them back--way back! Some of this, of course, has been done before, but Shubin writes with a flair, a clarity, and a precision that brings it all into a new focus. There is also an emphasis on DNA, in particular recent DNA experiments that combined with the paleontology and anatomy makes a very compelling case.

Shubin starts off with the search for a link between fish and land animals that took him to the Canadian Arctic and culminated in the discovery of Tiktaalik--a fish with a flattened head and flippers that made it look rather like a very primitive alligator in ways. The author then shows the evolution of necks and limbs. He does the same with some of the organs such as smell and vision, and shows their evolution as well.

The book is perhaps at its best in its discussion of the role of DNA in evolution. It is now known that it is possible to turn on a gene that is responsible for the development of an eye, for example. So you can create a fruitfly with an eye almost anywhere you want--such as on a leg--and many of these are functional, although in a primitive way. But it gets even more interesting. Suppose you take a gene from a mouse that controls the development of an eye, and implant it into a fruitfly, what happens? You get a fruitfly eye, not a mouse eye. This says a lot about the basic building blocks of life.

The book does have one major flaw. At 200 pages it's way too short! If the writing were dry or stiff, 200 pages would be sufficient, but with Shubin's thoroughly enjoyable writing and choice of subjects, I would have preferred 600 pages.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 28 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a pity there is no Nobel for palaeontology. Some sort of award should be given to Neil Shubin for finding "Tiktaalik" in the Canadian Arctic. It wasn't a chance find - he relates the detailed planning steps leading to its discovery. An extra ribbon should grace the medal for explaining that fossil's significance in this book. There have been recent accounts on the evolutionary path of animals emerging from the sea to take up the role of landlubber. Carl Zimmer's "At The Water's Edge" and Jenny Clack's "Gaining Ground" are examples. Both preceded the "Tiktaalik" find, but more to the point here is that while both are excellent writers, Shubin demonstrates communicative skills bordering on the superb. This is truly a book for everybody. Especially if you want to know why you develop hiccups.

A great fuss was made over the "Tiktaalik" discovery. What is its significance? For starters, it was flat-headed ["So what? I know lots of people who are flat . . ."]. While we may consider flat heads in derogatory terms, for life emerging from the sea, it was a vital step. That the head could move independent of the rest of the body was even more significant. Fish cannot do this, and except for bottom dwellers, don't have flat heads. Further, "Tiktaalik's" eye structure gave it forward vision. In a creature 375 million years old, these characteristics are significant. They offer clues to how you and I are put together and why. Shubin offers a meaningful example of this when he showed "Tiktaalik" to his daughter's preschool class and they declared it to be both fish and reptile - which is the key to the value of his work here.

Land dwelling, Shubin reminds us, requires major changes in body plan.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By M. Notman on 6 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cant begin to describe how good this book is, ive actually cleaned out my local waterstones of all 4 copies to give friends and have 3 more on order- birthdays sorted for a while!
Rather than look at human body/evolution as two seperate issues, or for that matter get bogged down in too much genetics (hox genes give me a headache) it strips the body down into specific parts and then tries to show how that part has developed, what previous uses it had, and why we have it today. It never gets too scientific or jargony but its still based on proper science and evidence- i wouldnt say a 10 year old could read it but some of my friends are most definately not "readers" and they enjoyed it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Squirr-el TOP 50 REVIEWER on 9 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
This was an interesting read; the author writes very clearly and informally, but in the earlier chapters it does read like he is giving a lecture to new (and American) students, as he uses little mannerisms taught as basic presentation skills. The editor should have caught those in the first draft. The author takes us through his early forays into the field in search of fossils, through to his co-discovery of an important fossil fish. We then work through the development of ‘genetic’ palaeontology, as embryology and later DNA science slowly unravelled our genetic history, leading us back to our ‘inner fish’. Although the author manages to clearly describe the discovery of our genetic heritage (through some unpleasant genetic experiments – though not carried out by him) and show the development of current creatures from their early ancestors, he doesn’t describe HOW we evolved – the process of natural selection and reproduction with variation (or words to that effect – see professor Dawkins for the latest details). Darwin is mentioned only three times in the index. There might have been space constraints on the author, but although he gave an excellent picture of the stages of our evolution, unless you are familiar with Darwin’s ‘dangerous’ theory, you might not even notice the gap in the book.

Further reading:
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions