By Neil Shubin
WITH BLACK-AND-WHITE LINE DRAWINGS THROUGHOUT
From one in every of our most interesting and most well-liked technological know-how writers, and the best-selling writer of Your internal Fish, comes the reply to a systematic secret as monstrous because the international itself: How are the occasions that shaped our sunlight procedure billions of years in the past embedded inside of each one of us?
In Your internal Fish, Neil Shubin delved into the superb connections among human bodies—our palms, heads, and jaws—and the constructions in fish and worms that lived enormous quantities of hundreds of thousands of years in the past. In The Universe Within, together with his trademark readability and enthusiasm, Shubin takes an excellent extra expansive method of the query of why we glance the way in which we do. beginning once more with fossils, he turns his gaze skyward, displaying us how the whole lot of the universe’s fourteen-billion-year heritage should be obvious in bodies. As he strikes from our very molecular composition (a results of stellar occasions on the beginning of our sunlight process) during the workings of our eyes, Shubin makes transparent how the evolution of the cosmos has profoundly marked our personal bodies.
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Extra info for The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People
The upper body and forelimbs on the one side and the tail on the other have to engage in complicated counterbalancing to maintain equilibrium as the animal moves. If there is no tail, and hence no projection behind the fulcrum, the forward part of the body must lie directly above the fulcrum. Thus in man the trunk is approximately vertically above the lower limbs. 1 Although apparently upright and bipedal , the penguin exhibits marked flexion at the hips and knees their hindiimbs but do not habitually do so.
Some other mammalian groups, for example dogs and the great cats, employ lumbar propulsion. During running they flex and extend their spines thereby increasing the span between footfalls. Despite the variation between land-vertebrate forms, the trunk muscle masses are divided in the same way into dorsal, epaxial groups and ventral, hypaxial groups. dles and deeper bundles which still retain their primitive metamerism. 4 From four legs to two An animal can only stand on an inclined surface if a verticalline through the centre of gravity passes through the quadrilateral formed by its feet.
The animals gradually acquired the ability to stand and to walk erect but they usually assumed a half-sitting posture. Experimental bipedal animals were, in general, about 25 per cent lighter in weight than controls and the long bones of the legs were shorter and thicker than those of the controls. Radiological examination of the spine showed a tendency to a gradual increase in the degree of cervical lordosis and thoracic kyphosis with decreased lumbar kyphosis. Some even developed lumbar lordosis.
The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People by Neil Shubin