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Humans and tails

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by We Never Know, May 17, 2019.

  1. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    I was on another site this week in a discussion about tails. Tail uses include but are not limited to brushing away insects, balance, grasping, like a rudder(helping with running, balance), etc.
    The argument is if a tail works for all the above, why did humans evolve to lose the tail. It would have been more helpful than harmful if humans had kept the tail, of course up until we started wearing clothes. I thought it was a descent question but couldn't quite form a suitable answer. It was asked how long was it, what was it's uses, why it was lost, etc.
    Anyone here have a answer that would fit into our evolution, ape evolution of losing the tail?
    Most appreciated.
     
    #1 We Never Know, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Isn't it obvious?
    Anyone with a tail would be seen as very
    weird....except perhaps at a furvert convention.
     
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  3. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    Human embryos develop and lose tails during gestation. I've read that sometimes a baby is born with a partial tail that is surgically removed.

    Also chimps and gorillas don't have tails so it's not unique to humans.

    Why Did Humans Lose Their Tails? gives more information
     
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  4. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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  5. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Humans never had tales.

    The 'tail bone' is necessary as many muscles are tied to it and your innards would not be well supported without it

    Perhaps it should be called 'the tale bone'?
     
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  6. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Read that before. Disagreed with this part.
    "Not growing a tail became more favorable for survival because it would not disrupt our balance. Most tailed animals are tetrapods – they have four limbs. The tail can be moved by an animal to manipulate its center of gravity and therefore maintain balance."

    Feline and many other four limb species species greatly depend on their tail for balance.
     
  7. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Haha :) it would kind of stick out right
     
  8. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Human ancestors had tails. It was in the ape or before line or maybe we don't know. If it wasn't, we wouldn't have remnence of a tail, the coccyx.
     
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  9. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Many times useless vestigial organs have been claimed but the list of vestigial organs had gone down and down and is arguably none

    Same with Junk DNA there are many uses discovered for much of so called Junk DNA such as error checking and correction. There appears complex functions done in so called junk DNA. A more reasonable statement is 'we don't know yet what some is for'
     
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  10. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Cool link. :thumbsup:

    .
     
  11. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    One theory is that humans didn't descend from the trees, but ascended from the ocean.

     
  12. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I think part of it is due to genetics.

    If I understand it correctly , the loss of the tail benefits by way of development of a larger brain. Sort of a genetic trade off whereas one part of the body benefits from the loss of another.

    Basically the energy that would have been used in a tail went towards the energy required to develop a more efficient brain.

    It's basically called a fitness trade-off because an organism has a limited energy capacity for which one trait diminishes for the benefit of another trait.

    Fitness Trade-offs
     
  13. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I would love to have my my feet go back to being a second pair of hands like some primates still have.
     
  14. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Maybe tails made us easier prey.
     
  15. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Walking on 2 legs rather than 4 shifts the center of balance, also a counter balance for the weight if the head is not needed, we dont swing in trees. The energy needed to control what would be a useless appendage is better off used elsewhere. So evolution did its bit

    But there are exceptions.

     
  16. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Some of us here actually have a strong
    background in biology, and have spent time
    thinking about such things, rather than
    memorizing just enough creosite ideology
    to convince "believers" of some bit of facile
    nonsense.

    From your first sentence we see you do
    not even know what "vestigial" actually
    means in this context.

    Bringing up irrelevancies from
    creosites does not help, nor does
    conflating "arguable" with legitimate.
    Elvis is arguably alive.

    All this effort put into displaying ideologically-
    inspired ignorance might be better used on
    self education.
     
    #16 Audie, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  17. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Think of selective pressure to eliminate
    a non functional but easily injured appendage.
     
  18. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Dont plan on walking far.
     
  19. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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  20. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I have 4 degrees in engineering and worked in major research centers
    having been an practicing engineer for 40 years with over 25 patents. Junk DNA claims are more akin do information science and not knowing what its for is not cause to say it has no purpose.

    I understand people in biology often have an ax to grind while engineers tend to have no prior investment and look at the data
     
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