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You Are An Upside-Down Lobster

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 Anatomy   |   Biology   |   Science
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Here's why you aren't built like a lobster.
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Our bodies are mirror images of lobsters and other arthropods from back to belly. We've know since the early 19th century that our guts and nervous systems are inverted from theirs, but only recently has molecular biology shown us why. Here's the evolutionary tale about a worm doing the backstroke and why your guts are on your front.

This is part 2 of 3 in my series about how our bodies evolved to look like they do. Check out the others:
Part 1 -
Part 3 - Coming Friday!

More info:

Dorsoventral inversion:

Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire:

Common animal body plan between protostomes and deuterostomes:

How we know that our body plan came later:

Step by step along the evolutionary tree: timeline of vertebrates:


Have an idea for an episode or an amazing science question you want answered? Leave a comment below!

Follow me on Twitter: @jtotheizzoe
Email me: itsokaytobesmart AT gmail DOT com
For more awesome science, check out:

Joe Hanson - Host and writer
Joe Nicolosi - Director
Amanda Fox - Producer, Spotzen Inc.
Kate Eads - Associate Producer
Katie Graham - Director of Photography
Andrew Matthews - Editor and motion graphics
John Knudsen - Gaffer

"Ouroboros" by Kevin MacLeod

Stock images via Shutterstock

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