Segments in this Video

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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On Land

Part of the Series : The Secret History of Our Evolution
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



New scientific imaging technologies now allow scientists to trace the history of how the human body has developed like never before. The genealogy of our organs shows that we share a long history with other species on the planet. This program examines the first major chapters of our evolution from the time that our ancestors emerged from the ocean and began living on land. The organs that allow us to hear, think, and manipulate objects all originated during this time.

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL196467

ISBN: 978-1-64867-532-4

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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