HomeHHMI's BioInteractiveExplore Your Inner Animals


Free Resources for Science Education

Click & Learn
Explore Your Inner Animals


This interactive explores different anatomical features of the human body and what they reveal about the evolutionary history we share with other organisms, including earlier, long-extinct species.

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A close look at the human body reveals structures that we inherited from distant animal ancestors. Take, for example, the pattern of the bones in our arms—they can be traced back to fossilized fish that lived at the time that life first made the transition from water to land. Other structures that were present in our ancestors are no longer found in our bodies, except for in their vestiges. The tail, for example, was lost in the transition from early primates to the apes, and our tailbone is all that’s left of that structure. This interactive allows you to explore these and many other features to discover the story of the making of our bodies.

Download the accompanying worksheet (PDF) for students to complete as they go through the Click and Learn. In the Click and Learn, students explore multiple lines of evidence for common descent found among the bodies and cells of both extinct and extant organisms. The student worksheet is designed to help ensure students successfully navigate the interactive and can be completed in class or assigned as homework. Students may complete all of the different sections or only some of them.

Curriculum Connections:

NGSS (April 2013)
MS-LS3-1, MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2, HS-LS1-1, HS-LS1-2, HS-LS3-1, HS-LS4-1, HS-LS4-2, HS-LS4-4

AP (2012–13)
1.A.1, 1.A.2, 1.A.4, 1.B.1, 1.C.3, 3.A.1, 3.C.1, 3.E.2, 4.C.1

IB (2009)
5.4.2, 5.4.5, 5.4.7, 5.4, D.3.5

Common Core (2010)

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