An accident of evolution in mammals

Richard Dawkins shows that accidents in evolution to not always lead to death of the species by showing that the Laryngeal Nerve, which controls the larynx, wraps around the heard before going back up to the brain.
Warning: this video contains a partial giraffe dissection.

Video size:

Reset to default size

Login to rate this video.

You can place this video on your website by inserting the (X)HTML code below:




Embed code:
<iframe src="" width="400" height="330" frameborder="0"></iframe>

You can email this video to your friends by entering their addresses below:

Your information:


Add another recipient

Enter the two words you read above: Enter the numbers you hear:

Request another verification | Audible version | Visible version | More information

People who liked this video also liked

Eric's Giant Wooden Spinning Top
29 years old deaf girl hears for the first time
Dinosaur at school
A Bridge Too Far
Going for the frisbees ...
Charlie Chaplin final speech in "The Great Dictator"


29 comments posted so far. Expand all comments Login to add a comment.

Picture of seldomseen7738 achievements


1. Comment rated too low. Show this comment seldomseen77 3 years ago

#(removed comment) so God is not perfect anymore?

Picture of LQoQK36 achievements


2. Comment rated too low. Show this comment LQoQK 3 years ago

ok. I will give you my nick, make that short cut and lets see if you are doing a favor for me by that.

bad engineering my ass

Picture of Ganjabus32 achievements


3. Ganjabus 3 years ago

If a person has an imaginary friend, he is crazy. If many people have the same imaginary friend, it is a religion.

Picture of mikeaza33 achievements


4. mikeaza 3 years ago

#(removed comment) This just prove that evolution is real.

Picture of kekke200037 achievements


5. kekke2000 3 years ago

I bet there is a very good reason it goes all the way down and back up again. It's just that Humans haven't evolved enough to undestand it yet. We are driven by facts. Like "The world is flat" and "The sun rotates around Earth" not to mention "Nothing is faster than the speed of light". If there is something we dont understand we just call it bullshit and go with what we know as a fact.

Picture of archis48 achievements


6. archis 3 years ago

We have humans have also bad design parts.
We support all our weight on to legs, to make our hands free. So our knees have more stress and they didnt envolve so quickly. Often by running or doing exerceises they hurt. To make our hands free we have also that S shaped spine (which mammal alos has it?) and it has its week point at lower back. You can also easy damage or hurt that part.

Picture of hulahula19 achievements


7. Comment rated too low. Show this comment hulahula 3 years ago

as i said long time ago: you see what you want to see.
if a shortcut nerve had a lot of surviving advantage as the scientists imply in the video, i am wondering why it wouldn't have evolved out.

Picture of Siruss21 achievements


8. Siruss 3 years ago

something somewhere went terribly wrong :O

Picture of irishgek50 achievements


9. irishgek 3 years ago

An intelligent person would answer us the bloody question WHY its doing that , Sorry I refuse to believe that the same thing in humans happens in a giraffe and its just put down to bad design.

I know on many PCB circuit boards some times traces/tracks are laid out with tons of S bends there on purpose to take a longer route to the component because of many many factors.

And similar in humans and animals its just signals/pluses , there might still be a legitimate reason for this nerve being so long and looped near the heart. These scientists love to blame bad design when they can not explain things.

Picture of medicino30 achievements


10. medicino 3 years ago

Giraffes have 7 bones in their necks just like us.

#9 sorry mate but at least for me that's a fairly good and simple explanation, the loop is just a remanent of our past as sea creatures, which was carried out thought mammalian evolution, as the Dr. point out evolution don't go back to drawing board to correct what we could see as imperfections evolution instead focus on keeping an organism alive not beautiful to the eyes of us humans.

Picture of rootkit32 achievements


11. rootkit 3 years ago

Interesting clip!

Besides, God created man, right? However, man evolved from monkeys, so God must be a monkey, right?

Anyways, since some of you guys are quoting (historic) figures, here's my fav:
"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today" - Isaac Asimov

#5, enlighten us with your theory then. The solution was already given in the clip, and it's really that simple. You approach the situation way too complicated.
"If there is something we dont understand we just call it bullshit" I don't think so, because humans are curious by nature. Watch some vid's here with Neil deGrasse Tyson and you'll understand. ;)

By the way, #9, the reason for this is perfectly explained in the clip. Re-watch closely. :)

Picture of Sizzlik59 achievements


12. Sizzlik (admin) 3 years ago

Guys..please dont start a debatte now about god..this video is just about a nerve that evolved in a weird way and its funny from an engineers sight.

Picture of Gringo_el_Diablo44 achievements


13. Gringo_el_Diablo 3 years ago

The real mystery is who killed the giraffe?(i)

Picture of LobsterKing38 achievements


14. LobsterKing 3 years ago

Who can tell me what show this is from?

Picture of hulahula19 achievements


15. Comment rated too low. Show this comment hulahula 3 years ago

#11 Apparently, you cannot distinguish the concept of "create" from that of "evolve". If anything premature, I think that's is quite premature. :D

Picture of nomaddaf18 achievements


16. nomaddaf 3 years ago

Most of you are missing/avoiding the point entirely.They are not saying bad design they are saying clearly not designed.And they are right. At what point will people stop apologizing for the CLEARLY wrong beliefs they hold, and admit that facts are facts,common sense will lead to truth.God doesn't cure diabetes, insulin does.God doesn't cure heart attacks,treatment does.God doesn't fix your problems, you do or do not.Some of the comments still say"I bet there is a very good reason it goes all the way down and back up again." Even when handed a clear well thought out.well reasoned explanation,you would still go with the bronze age story that has fail at every fact it has ever claimed.The earth is flat,it is the center of all things,the moon is a light source,the list goes on and on. The more we actually learn the more ignorant you and you imaginary friend look and still you cling to it thinking you will live forever.God is not dead,that would imply "he" once lived.

Picture of MakeTnotWar37 achievements


17. MakeTnotWar 3 years ago

Giraffe-burgers for everyone in the department of biology

Picture of Natan_el_Tigre43 achievements


18. Natan_el_Tigre 3 years ago

#12 He-he, you said "evolved". ;)

Picture of gouranga4ever43 achievements


19. gouranga4ever 3 years ago

#14 It's called "Inside Natures Giants" it's from Channel 4 in the UK. An excellent series. They've done whales, elephants, octopus, a race horse and Pythons.

They always try to show how the animals has evolved into it's own niche and the impact it has on it's morphology. Except the Race Horse where they showed the artificial selection that humans had imposed to make the perfect thoroughbred..

The Scientist is Professor Richard Dawkins.

Picture of dickheadred23 achievements


20. dickheadred 3 years ago

I've always wondered why we humans don't have a rear facing eye to compliment the 2 front ones, it would seem to be such a sensible thing to evolve. Perhaps God tried it but realized how silly we would look.

Picture of LQoQK36 achievements


21. LQoQK 3 years ago

@20 it would be cooler if we had bats echo system,

in 10000 years from now people would develop wheels instead of legs and stupid foots,

BTW why do we still have fish they seem to be outdated?
or maybe we should have special car parking for the undeveloped yet fellow humans "MONKEYS"

Picture of nomaddaf18 achievements


22. nomaddaf 3 years ago

#21 we do have special parking its called the ghetto. #20 back facing eye would be a distraction and leave you open from all sides. #9 you can refuse to believe all you like in the face of a physical demonstration and you will only look foolish !

Picture of jotoole18 achievements


23. jotoole 3 years ago

I wonder how long it will take science to find the reason why the giraffe (and humans) have this design. The idea that its because we come from fish is a THEORY - it is not THE answer. Science is full of theories that seemed good at the time only to be proven wrong. Nothing wrong with theories - its just that if we confuse them with proven science we go off on sometimes ridiculous tangents. We need to question the likes of Dawkins - who claims anyone who disagrees with him is not thinking!

Picture of rootkit32 achievements


24. rootkit 3 years ago

#15, q.e.d.
Thanks, #16, that completes our discussion. ;)

Picture of Xionbox44 achievements


25. Xionbox (moderator) 3 years ago

#23 Do you know what else is a theory? Gravity! Now, jump from a stool and tell me how good gravity works. Pretty well right?

Have you heard of any other theory which attempts to explain the diversity of living species?

As a reminder:
1. a formal set of ideas that is intended to explain why something happens or exists.
2. the principles and which a particular subject is based.
(From the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 7th edition.)

Picture of Manycheese21 achievements


26. Manycheese 3 years ago

#9 You make an interesting point. But it's always better to have a shorter nerve as it would decrease the risk of it getting damaged and make a tiny difference to reaction time.

Picture of gouranga4ever43 achievements


27. gouranga4ever 3 years ago

#23 The fact that we evolved from Fish is the Answer (aka the Evidence), Natural Selection is the Theory to explain the fact/answer..

To argue with the evidence you have to explain why you can map the evolution of species from Fish to Mammals through time, genetics, morphology, geography, biochemistry and physiology; without any inconsistencies or unexplainable leaps. Do that and I and Professor Richard Dawkins will welcome you into our bosom with open arms. If instead, you reject the evidence and say God did it because the bible says so, we will quite rightly, tell you to go fuck yourself..

Picture of LQoQK36 achievements


28. LQoQK 3 years ago

@27 or maybe fish evolved from human? bacteria are the most developed species

damn we have been looking at up side down.

Picture of GoFr3t15 achievements


29. GoFr3t 2 years ago

Oh my science!! If you know what am referring to, you are awesome!!