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Why did man "lose" his tail? Don't you wish you still had one?

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posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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There I was at the shopping mall helping my wife buy "back to school" supplies for the boys. My hands were both laden with back packs and binders, pencils, pens, rulers and other assorted instruments of "higher learning". That's when my cell phone rang. I normally would have let it ring but I was expecting a rather important call, a call that I really needed to answer. I must have been quite a sight as I scrambled to reach and answer my cell. I tried to juggle packaged reams of loose-leaf paper and sets of colored markers but by the time I reached my cell, I was surrounded by a mound of school stuff on the floor. To add insult to injury, I missed my call. That's when I started thinking.....man it would have been cool to have had a third hand.

On the drive home, I realized that at some point in our evolution, man did have a third hand......or rather a tail. Many primates are quite dexterous with their tails using it much like a third hand. They use it to hang from trees, to secure themselves in place while sitting high up in the branches and they even use it to help manipulate objects. That's when I started wondering why man "lost" the tail. It would have been so handy (no pun intended). I could carry my briefcase or my keys. Answering my cell phone would have been a snap. An extra hand....I mean tail can come in handy while doing all sorts of every day tasks. And, of course, if everyone had a tail, you wouldn't really stand out at all. It would be natural.

Would you want a tail? What could you do with it that you can't do now? And if the tail is so useful, why did man lose the tail through evolution?




posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 04:28 PM
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I'm certainly not an expert on developmental biology, but I don't think that human ancestors had a prehensile tail for millions of years. Certainly apes, even brachiating apes like the orang-utan, don't have tails.

My guess (and it is only a guess) is that the disadvantages of having a tail (e.g., being grabbed by a predator) outweighed the advantages of having one (assisting in arboreal life). Remember, it was the gradual drying of what is now Ethiopia and the change of the environment from forest to savannah which is was probably the thing that led t6o the development of upright stance, binocular vision, and freeing the hands (in other words, stuff that made us us).



posted on Sep, 13 2005 @ 05:26 PM
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I have got a tail...but its on the wrong side.....


Mic



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 08:22 AM
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Our ancestors never had a tail.

Besides, if evolution is actually correct (which it's not), you're supposed to GAIN features, not lose them and have remnants left over.



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 10:45 AM
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Don't mistake monkeys with apes, Chimps are apes not a monkey.

Monkeys have tails apes don't.



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 10:59 AM
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www.freerepublic.com...


The 11-month-old boy has been named Balaji or Bajrangbali, another name for monkey-faced Lord Hanuman.

He is reported to have a 4in 'tail' caused by genetic mutations during the development of the foetus.


Picture is included on the link.

It's very strange looking and I'm glad I don't have one.......



posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 11:26 AM
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God never gave us a tail to loose.

Don't believe in God? Yuor choice, but check this out - I just read in a thread over on ATS that, because I have O- blood, I am probably not of this world, anyway! Either way, I never had a tail!



posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 02:19 PM
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Amethyst says:


Besides, if evolution is actually correct (which it's not), you're supposed to GAIN features, not lose them and have remnants left over.


Not true. Organisms evolve to meet changing conditions. Sometimes that evolution involves addition or growth of a characteristic, sometimes it involves the gradual loss of a characteristic.

For example, if a species of primate adapted to arboreal life (e.g. brachiating locomotion or prehensile tail) survives a climatic change which replaces forest with savannah, then the organisms' long arms and tail become a liability rather an asset, and the organisms with the shortest tail or least-brachiating gait will tend to survive and pass those characteristics on to their offspring.

Thomas Crowne says:


Either way, I never had a tail!


Then what do you call the coccygeal protrusion inferior to your last lumbar vertabra -- an elbow?



posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street

Thomas Crowne says:


Either way, I never had a tail!


Then what do you call the coccygeal protrusion inferior to your last lumbar vertabra -- an elbow?


I call it my tail bone, but this is only suggestive of having a tail in the past.
This may have been a stalled adaptation that never came to pass.

If Lucy had a rudimentary tail or some other proof of a tail in our ancesters were presented I would be more accepting of that theory.

The baby with a tail that I put in my last post is an anomaly that does not present evidence of humans ever having tails, it only shows we have the possibility of producing one.

If humans want a tail, we may need to start some "test tube monkey love" to achieve that.
But knowing humans, it's been tried without the test tube and it didn't work.



posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 03:38 PM
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Why did man "lose" his tail? Don't you wish you still had one?


Nah... Can you imagine trying to find pants?



posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok


Why did man "lose" his tail? Don't you wish you still had one?


Nah... Can you imagine trying to find pants?




Whoa....can you just imagine what a tail would do to "tailoring"? Also, what if, like a dog, we wagged our tails when we were happy or tucked them down when we were guilty. It could revolutionize interpersonal relationships and even the court system. Hmmmmmmm



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 08:48 PM
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Yes! I want a tail too!!! For all the handy reasons stated!

Plus, I think I am a reptilian hybrid and reptiles have tails! And no wimpy tails either: kick a$$ fighting tails!!!!!

If I could morph into/come back as a different creature: how about a Kimodo Dragon? (cool tail here).

Or how about a Wart Hog? Or is that a Mammal? OK, lets just mix both with a human (and/or 'partial human'/Reptoid).

Would that be cool or what??????

(Well living in this sphere I think it would be pretty cool to be humanoid and just have a Tail! But like a reptile fighting tail. Practical one, not cute/fluffy/decorative, right?)

N



posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 11:51 PM
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Originally posted by Niki
Yes! I want a tail too!!! For all the handy reasons stated!

Plus, I think I am a reptilian hybrid and reptiles have tails! And no wimpy tails either: kick a$$ fighting tails!!!!!


Would that be cool or what??????

(Well living in this sphere I think it would be pretty cool to be humanoid and just have a Tail! But like a reptile fighting tail. Practical one, not cute/fluffy/decorative, right?)

N





Wow....when I started the thread, I hadn't even considered tails from any other species other than primates. It was just a natural assumption that a primate tail would be "handiest". However, that was probably some sort of superiority complex that a tail from a primate (man's closest evolutionary ancestor -- let's not be picky on this statement, please) -- would naturally be the best tail to have.

But tails from other creatures adds a new dimension to this topic. Hmmmm, a beaver tail would be great just to smack on the ground just for the sound. A horse tail would be awesome for swishing flies and insects away when camping. Naturally, a kimodo dragon tail would be ideal for self-defense. But would all of these tails lead to a form of "tail envy"? Would you be satisfied with the tail that you were born with or would I go to plastic surgeon to trade in your "spider monkey" tail for something, ahem, larger?



posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 01:55 AM
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I'll betcha the tail phased out as man started to walk erect. A tail is great for balancing on all fours, but not for strollin' on two.

Plus, not to be crude, but as we started to walk erect, the human genitals scooted forward even more, especially those of the female. This kind of shifting around "down there" could also have played a part.



posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 01:00 PM
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I know someone who was born with a Tail, looked kinda reptillian too (they took pictures of it after they amputated it, it's standard procedure to cut it off with the umbilical cord due to some superstition passed down the ages)

It was theorized that it's a throwback to some sort of fish like thing with a tail. Perhaps it may even be a throwback to the time when a common ancestor crawled out of the oceans. Just a thought.



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