At the NSTA Conference in Chicago last year, I had the pleasure of meeting (at least from a distance) Neil Shubin, who is a fish paleontologist. We watched one of the newer movies, were treated to refreshments and popcorn and were given a t-shirt and a DVD copy of “Your Inner Fish.” This amazing DVD using animations and interviews to explore the evolutionary history of fish and relate it to humans, showing how the anatomy of
humans shares similarities with fish and other tetrapods. The pace of the video is perfect for my high school seniors, and though I made a worksheet
to go with the program, it wasn’t necessary to keep their attention.
I definitely recommend this program and the ones that follow: “Your Inner Reptile” and “Your Inner Monkey.” While the video never specifically used the term “homologous structure” the vast majority of it focuses on the limbs of vertebrates and their search for a fish that had a similar limb structure.
You can purchase your inner fish, or you can request a free copy from HHMI. Their website also has a streaming version of the program.
HHMI also has other resources related to this program, such as additional downloadable content. Your students can watch the video and read the article “It’s a Fishapod” which provides a more detailed look at how the research on the Tiktaalik was conducted.