Introduction: On Land (02:02)
Humans use organs that are hundreds of millions of years old. Scientific technology offers a new view of our anatomy, allowing scientists to better understand the development of our organs and what relates us to other species.
Mutation Enhances Hearing (06:58)
Some of our organs have changed place, shape, or function to improve performance or adapt to the environment; bones in our middle ear evolved from our jaws. Biologist Vera Weisbecker studies the jaw and ear structures of reptiles and marsupials.
Female Anatomy (08:40)
Biologist Mihaela Pavlicev contemplates the evolutionary significance of the clitoris. Zoologist Guillaume Lecointre and radiologist Bradley Smith explain vestigial organs and why we have a coccyx.
Why Do We Have an Appendix? (06:56)
Researchers Heather Smith and Michel Laurin study the vestigial organ; the earliest known appearance is in monotremes. Gastroenterologist William Parker has discovered a correlation between the organ and beneficial bacteria.
Cognition in Primates (05:08)
The modern human brain is about one million-years-old. Paleoanthropologist Antoine Balzeau questions its uniqueness in the animal kingdom. Neanderthals had 20% more gray matter than we do.
Hand Evolution (05:09)
Hands allow humans to touch, manipulate, and act upon the world; their evolution can be traced back 350 million years. Anthropologist Sergio Almécija studies the hands of modern and prehistoric humans and great apes.
Ape Fossils (05:05)
Almécija searches for fossils in Spain and visits a museum displaying the skeleton of pierolapithecus catalaunicus. He believes that walking upright led to changes in the evolution of human hands.
Adapting Organs (11:22)
Biologist Henrik Kaessmann studies organ development in placental mammals, marsupials, and egg-laying monotremes. Ecologist Josh Griffiths helps catch a platypus. Organs come from a mold that is common to all vertebrates; they are constantly evolving.
Credits: On Land (00:33)
Credits: On Land
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