animal tails

Animals!

Moderator: BioTeam

Post Reply
User avatar
kabuto
Coral
Coral
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:30 am

animal tails

Post by kabuto » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:02 pm

just wondering about this.

why does animals have tails?

what is it for? and why dont we have tail?

User avatar
mith
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
Posts: 5345
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:14 pm
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Post by mith » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:22 pm

It can be prehensile(used as a hand).
It can be for balance.
It can be for fighting...
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
~Niebuhr

User avatar
Khaiy
Coral
Coral
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:37 am

Post by Khaiy » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:50 pm

We don't have them because our ancestors lost them for some reason; it could be chance, it could be that there was some disadvantage to a tail for an upright walking animal, or many other reasons. We can't be 100% sure what caused the evolutionary event that got rid of our ancestor's tails though, since we weren't around to see it.

We do still have the tail bone, which still has the shape that would support a tail, our species just doesn't have the actual tail anymore!

User avatar
kabuto
Coral
Coral
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:30 am

Post by kabuto » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:14 pm

mithrilhack wrote:It can be for fighting...


:lol: :lol:

kiekyon
Coral
Coral
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:10 am
Location: Malaysia

Post by kiekyon » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:20 pm

kabuto wrote:
mithrilhack wrote:It can be for fighting...


:lol: :lol:


think crocodile...

Darby
Viper
Viper
Posts: 1278
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: New York, USA

Post by Darby » Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:31 pm

In terms of humans, the tails were long-gone by the time we came along (the apes don't have them).

Perhaps a tail helps climbing balance only up to a certain-sized animal. That would make it tough to explain big cats, though... It's possible that the ancestral ape was a ground-dweller (the fossil record is pretty spotty on that lineage).

Keep in mind, too, that only vertebrates officially have tails (postanal tails, at least), and these were originally for swimming.

rach
Garter
Garter
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 8:56 am

Post by rach » Fri May 12, 2006 9:06 am

i wish i had a tail...

madnewt
Garter
Garter
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 1:48 pm
Location: Reading

Post by madnewt » Fri May 12, 2006 2:01 pm

We lost our tails when our ancestors descended from the trees as there was no need for them. Monkeys use their tails for gripping and balance but for life on the ground, they became redundant. With the evolution of the thumb, our hands became better designed for gripping and making things than a tail could ever be and they could used for fighting as well. Man can not move fast enough under our own propulsion for a tail to be anything other than a liability.

All cats can move fast enough to warrant a tail for balance and it also helps express the temperament and status of the animal like in dogs.

User avatar
AstusAleator
King Cobra
King Cobra
Posts: 1039
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Oregon, USA

Post by AstusAleator » Tue May 16, 2006 2:18 am

If you go back to chordate ancestry, where postanal tails were derived, they evolved to help in swimming. Then in amphibians they served to help swim and balance. With reptiles, again it helped balance (and in some helped swim and fight).
Think about that big T-Rex, what would happen if it didn't have a tail and wanted to lean over and catch something.
What did the parasitic Candiru fish say when it finally found a host? - - "Urethra!!"

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests