What did you think about the reading?
The similarity and relation of the jaws of a reptile and the middle ear of a mammal really caught my attention. Dr. Shubin describes it very convincingly. He has really opened my eyes to a relationship between fish and humans that I would have thought to be very distinct. In regards to the ending of the book, I agree to his idea that all life, in summary, comes from a previous life (parents) with slight modifications. This book has opened many new thoughts about evolution.
What did you learn?
Chapter ten talks openly about the relation between the middle ear and fish jaws. The novel mentions that origins of the middle ear in mammals are from reptile/fish jaws, according to scientists Karl Reichart and Ernst Gaupp. Dr. Shubin describes how through this transformation, of jaws to middle ear, living organisms have adapted to survive in such an environment. Shubin also mentions neuromasts and how these could be primitive structures of the inner ear in humans. I also learned that alcohol affects the inner ear by changing the density of the fluid inside, and thus causing dizziness when there has been a high alcohol consumption. In the end, we are all interconnected in some kind of way (our structures are not random) whether it is biologically or physically, yet there are certain traits unique to each generation. In conclusion, Shubin mentions that Tiktaalik has very remote possibilities of being a direct ancestor of the “transitional” sea and land creature. And, as the author describes it: “descent with modification.”
What questions do you still have?
How can we use this information about common descent for future medical purposes to engineer cures for, what are currently, untreatable diseases?
Will the advancement of technology bring more facts to the table and verify the TikTaalik as a true ancestor?