Chordates: We’re All Family | the Shape of Life

This short film, of about 15 minutes, accounts for the phylogenetic history of Chordates, a phylum to which us, humans, belong to. The video was taken from The Shape of Life: the story of the animal kingdom: 

Amphioxus, a worm like animal, is our ancestor with numerous common features including the precursor to the vertebrate backbone. Some chordates like tunicates, salps and larvaceans, have remained simple creatures without backbones.  But others like the vertebrates have four times as many genes as their simple chordate ancestors which allowed an explosion of new forms.  Fish evolved skulls and jaws and dominated the seas. Some fish evolved limb-like fins and crawled out onto land. Reptiles (lizards, snakes) and dinosaurs flourished on land. When the dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, mammals inherited the land. Humans are most closely related to the great apes.

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “Chordates: We’re All Family | the Shape of Life

  1. It’s very interesting to know that all life is connected, if I could I would go back in time and see the evolution of life for myself, I have always wanted to see a living dinosaur. I wonder which creatures will exist later on in this planet and how humans will evolve in the future.

    Like

  2. to think that all life is connected is crazy, it is very hard to think how a human and a animal not even discovered are related. it is always fun to know the different theories of how life evolved throughout time, i would do what manuel said and go back in time to see every step.

    Like

    • Actually, imagine natural history or evolution as a continuous film reel that cannot be paused. That means that we will no be able to see ‘every h esteparans. The ‘steps’ we see are possible thanks to the fossil records. Also, this means that the concept of “a missing link” is an essentially flawed one.

      Like

  3. I have always wanted to see a living dinosaur. I wonder which creatures will exist later on in this planet and how humans will evolve in the future 🙂 i found more information in the web and it sure is intresting !!!

    Like

  4. Of course everyone wants to see a living dinasour but in my opinion, sea animals are the most interesting animals ever. A few of those animals in the video caught my attention but the most was the sea salp. I love jellyfish and the sea salp resembles it. I love that i doesnt look like a regular fish, like most of the sea animals. And to hear and know that its related to us ,in a way, is even better. I found an article about there being a lot of sea salps in California and nobody knows why. I found it interesting. http://science.kqed.org/quest/2012/07/03/ocean-overrun-with-gentle-gelatinous-salps/

    Like

      • yeeeaaah alanisss ! sea animals for me are also the most interesting ! cuzz i think that waaaaay deep in the ocean are animals that are not discovered yet because its too deep for humans to go down there. also the ocean is a huuge place for different animals to live in, there are many caves and reefs down there that maybe the tiniest animals live in and humans have not discovered them yet ! the sea is full of wonders and mysterious things its amazing how under the same water could live so many different, amazing, and beautiful animals, the sea is like a playground for another species ❤ http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/photos/deep-sea-creatures/ seee? check this site it has some supeer awesomee picss about deep-sea creaturesss :p btw. does this count as a comment?

        Like

    • Humans are complex organisms because we are vertebrates. We have more genes, that makes us bigger, more complex. Invertebrates have less genes, they never needed a new set of genes. In nature applies the following saying: “whatever works.” And for invertebrates it works to have a simpler set of genes.

      Like

  5. How can we truly believe that this giant asteroid was the one thing that ended with al the dinosaur race? They speak of this so surely that this is what happened . But we will never know what happened unless we could speak to the ones that lived it. Its just a theory, isnt it?

    Like

  6. So in a way we are connected to simple creatures like the Amphioxus. Strange but interesting. The song we are family has a hole new meaning to me. To think that were connected in a way with animals so cool.

    Like

  7. It amazes me how i never saw this. We have many things in common with even the most diffrent and weird looking animals but at the same time we are so diffrent.

    Like

    • Even though amphioxus and other chordates separated from the phylogenetic branch that gave rise to vertebrates such as mammals, we can see traces of ancestry in structures like pharyngeal pouches, notochords, segmentated muscles, etc.

      Like

  8. I didn’t expect to have things in common with animal that does not even have limbs. Its amazing that so many different animals have things in common! 😀

    Like

  9. so in other words we come from fish? we all started in the water and evolved slowly until we could walk on land?

    Like

    • We are vertebrates. We share a common ancestry. So the answer would be yes, we descend from the first vertebrates ever: fishes. And yes: after millions of years, trillions of genetic recombinations, massive tectonic plate movements, oxygen changing our atmosphere forever—and many other geochemical and biochemical events we will cover eventually in class—fishes “conquered” land; amphibians emerged from fishes; reptiles from amphibians; birds from reptiles; mammals form birds…and here we are—using opposable thumbs, writing in the comment section of a blog.

      Like

  10. It is interesting knowing that we are all family yet we fight each others as enemies of nature. If animals could help each other by our interdependence instead of fighting and eating each other, our genes could have multiply faster and live peacefully.

    Like

  11. We are all indeed connected even down to the atom level. The linked video is also a very good representation of why and how we are connected.

    Like

  12. It’s amazing how much things in common we can have with animals. I never though we would come from the same type of organisms who once was the basis of most animals.

    Like

  13. Squids to me are one of the smartest organisms in the ocean and they are overpopulating the sea, reproduce quickly and are very deangerous.

    Like

  14. Wow! There is no word to describe the essence of nature. There is no way to express it’s majesty. At the ending, watching the apes socialize and survive out in the wilderness actually made me feel bad about humanity. We complain about what we have and want what we don’t have and just to the thought of the pure happiness these monkeys portray actually motivates me to live with them! It might sound stupid but being something like “Tarzan” wouldn’t be a bad idea 😀

    Like

  15. This video is really interesting because it shows how amazing nature can be. I thought we didn’t have a single relationship with most of the animals shown on the video …..

    Like

  16. The idea that all life is connected is crazy, its very hard to think how a human and an animal yet to be discovered are related. It is always fun to know the different theories of how life evolved throughout time

    Like

    • Life has four basic components: adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine. They are called nitrogenous bases; the basic alphabet with which DNA writes life in this planet. Different arrangements of these chemical substances—very similar to sugar—give rise to every life on Earth. From a simple bacteria, to an undiscovered spider in the Amazon jungle.

      Like

  17. All i have to say is that us humans we believe we are the superior ones but who knows… Maybe we are just the same as the rest of the animals on the planet. The only difference might be that we do not understand them nor they understand us.

    Like

  18. It’s shocking to see how different kinds of living organisms have developed and diversified from earlier forms of life. The fact that human ancestors were known to be very simple and, consequently, humans are portrayed as far more complex as their antecedents seems to connect all forms of life and demonstrate that evolution does take place. Imagine how our following species would be like!!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s