Dictionary » T » Tail



1. (Science: zoology) The terminal, and usually flexible, posterior appendage of an animal.

The tail of mammals and reptiles contains a series of movable vertebrae, and is covered with flesh and hairs or scales like those of other parts of the body. The tail of existing birds consists of several more or less consolidated vertebrae which supports a fanlike group of quills to which the term tail is more particularly applied. The tail of fishes consists of the tapering hind portion of the body ending in a caudal fin. The term tail is sometimes applied to the entire abdomen of a crustacean or insect, and sometimes to the terminal piece or pygidium alone.

2. Any long, flexible terminal appendage; whatever resembles, in shape or position, the tail of an animal, as a catkin. Doretus writes a great praise of the distilled waters of those tails that hang on willow trees. (harvey)

3. Hence, the back, last, lower, or inferior part of anything, as opposed to the head, or the superior part. The lord will make thee the head, and not the tail. (Deut. Xxviii. 13)

4. A train or company of attendants; a retinue. 'Ah, said he, if you saw but the chief with his tail on.' (Sir W. Scott)

5. The side of a coin opposite to that which [[bears the head, effigy, or date; the reverse; rarely used except in the expression heads or tails, employed when a coin is thrown up for the purpose of deciding some point by its fall.

6. (Science: anatomy) The distal tendon of a muscle.

7. (Science: botany) A downy or feathery appendage to certain achens. It is formed of the permanent elongated style.

8. (Science: surgery) A portion of an incision, at its beginning or end, which does not go through the whole thickness of the skin, and is more painful than a complete incision; called also tailing. One of the strips at the end of a bandage formed by splitting the bandage one or more times.

9. A rope spliced to the strap of a block, by which it may be lashed to anything.

10. The part of a note which runs perpendicularly upward or downward from the head; the stem.

11. Same as tailing.

12. The bottom or lower portion of a member or part, as a slate or tile.

13. (Science: chemical) See tailing. Tail beam.

same as Tailpiece.

(Science: astronomy) Tail of a comet, the post where the besiegers begin to break ground, and cover themselves from the fire of the place, in advancing the lines of approach. Tail spindle, the spindle of the tailstock of a turning lathe; called also dead spindle. To turn tail, to run away; to flee. Would she turn tail to the heron, and fly quite out another way; but all was to return in a higher pitch. (Sir P. Sidney)

Origin: AS. Taegel, taegl; akin to G. Zagel, Icel. Tagl, Sw. Tagel, Goth. Tagl hair. 59.

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... isn't related to slime molds, but what I was going for is a concept where the individual viruses would group up and attach via their tail fibers in order to change their density from gelatinous to a more elastic substance that mimics muscle tissue...which I'm not even sure is possible. ...

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by Tenebrae
Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:13 pm
Forum: Microbiology
Topic: Virus Questions [Science Fiction]
Replies: 3
Views: 1475

Re: Are these wolves or coyotes?

... know this, but there are a couple of unreliable "tells" at work - more distinctive markings on the face, more robust body, less bushy tail for the wolves. It's hard to get a size from the pictures, so that's not too useful. It LOOKS more like a wolf, but it also looks like the same ...

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by Darby
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:17 pm
Forum: Zoology Discussion
Topic: Are these wolves or coyotes?
Replies: 4
Views: 1253

Is this a wolf??

It doesn't have the raised mane of a coyote and the tail carriage seems a little too low. I would put my money on a feral dog.

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by animartco
Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:22 pm
Forum: Zoology Discussion
Topic: Is this a wolf??
Replies: 8
Views: 3987

Re: Do snakes have tails???

Some snakes have tails that enable them to hold onto branches or vines to assist them in climbing trees. And of course a rattlesnake uses its tail as a warning device when it is scared. Many harmless snakes also vibrate their tails, ...

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by elizabeth35
Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:28 am
Forum: Zoology Discussion
Topic: Do snakes have tails???
Replies: 25
Views: 39915


i can only tell u dat it is highly recessive and we humans have the tail bone and gene responsible for it. I have also seen a human baby born with a tail. But, it was removed surgically. Dis is wat i saw in a search in unrelated link Indian baby born with ...

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by Sumanth001
Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:40 am
Forum: Human Biology
Topic: Atavism
Replies: 4
Views: 4718
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