Would you wish to have a tail? But if you or someone you know have ever wondered why humans didn’t have any tail, let’s go back to how organisms have evolved and turned into humans. This only applies to the believers of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
In 1831, Charles Darwin studied at the University of Cambridge and became part of a great expedition. For five years, he was part of a survey expedition carried out by the ship HMS Beagle, which included stops in South America, Australia, and the southern tip of Africa. At each of the expedition’s stopover, Darwin had the opportunity to study and record what he has found out of the local plants and animals. (click here for more details)
Darwin had seen similarities in patterns among various organisms. In the nearby islands in the Galápagos, there are similar but non-identical species of finches. He noted that each finch species was well-suited for its environment and role. For instance, species that feed on large seeds have large, tough beaks, but those that ate insects had thin, sharp beaks. Finally, he observed that the finches and other animals found on the Galápagos Islands were similar to species on the nearby mainland of Ecuador but different from those found elsewhere.
Using Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by natural selection, if you are to look closely at the illustration of how species of organisms have evolved, you will notice one common thing from the ancestors of humans – the presence of a tail. Fishes, birds, reptiles, mammals, all have tails, until the existence of chimps or apes.
According to the theory in his book “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits. These changes allow organisms to adapt better to their environment and help them survive, grow, and reproduce. (click here for more details)
In zoology, the tail is defined as the extension of the backbone beyond the trunk of the body. It has various structures and purposes. Among vertebrates, it is made up of flesh and bone without viscera. For amphibians and fishes, the tail is vital for locomotion. However, most land-dwelling four-footed animals it is not an essential locomotor device. Although for crocodiles, otters, and whales, which are secondarily adapted to an aquatic environment, the tail becomes vital. Arboreal animals or those living in trees, like koala, sloth, and squirrels, use their tail for balance. Porcupines, armadillo, and rattlesnakes use their tail to protect themselves from attacks of prey or any imminent harm from the environment. (click here for more details)
Birds have feathers in the wings are called remiges that functionally provide support. The feathers that make up a bird’s tail are called rectrices. It provides stability and control and helps in the different maneuvers of birds in its flight. Meanwhile, when peacock displays its tail, it attracts its mate. The bigger and more elaborately decorated a peacock’s tail feathers are, the more attractive he is to peahens. (click here for more details)
And the tails of our favorite pet dogs, known as man’s best friend, will also determine how he feels when someone strange approaches or waves its tail every time you or a family member arrives home.
The quick answer to why we don’t have a tail is that we don’t need it!
We can walk straight and maintain balance with just our feet. Humans and others believed to be our ancestors like gibbons and gorilla, do not have tail since we can walk upright in its absence. It is advantageous to humans who need not exert extra energy into every step they take, unlike other animals despite being four-legged, still need it to maintain balance. In the world of animals, every energy you save can mean the difference between survival and starvation.
Humans are in a perfect body structure that can move, walk, or run efficiently, not needing a tail to counterbalance whether inland, on the air as when climbing a tree, or going to the rooftop, or underwater when swimming.
Neither have you needed to have a tail to defend yourself from others’ harm or threat or to wiggle waggle to communicate a message to convey what you feel.
You came from dust and to dust you will return. You are created as a human from the very beginning and not a product of mutation or evolution. You hold superiority among all creations, and you can have dominion over every species above and under the Earth. This is what someone would say who believes in a theological standpoint of man’s origin.