• Question: why don't humans have tails? would it help us if we did?

    Asked by ellieelephant to Adam, Faye, Martin, Samantha, David, Jonathan, Pete, Sam on 23 May 2012. This question was also asked by sara2012, rseymour7nrl.
    • Photo: Adam Bibbey

      Adam Bibbey answered on 23 May 2012:

      Hi ellieelephant,
      Interesting question!
      Human do still have a tailbone (called a coccyx) at the bottom of our back. It is believed that we used to have a tail but as we evolved from monkeys/apes and began to walk upright the tail was not needed.
      Tails are important for balance, as you may see when cats or monkeys jump between high places.

      Still think it would be pretty cool if we had tails though 🙂 , what do you think?

    • Photo: Samantha Wright

      Samantha Wright answered on 23 May 2012:


      Surprisingly, humans do actually have a tail bone, although you can’t see it externally – it’s called the coccyx. It can be found at the bottom of your spine or vertebral column and it’s what tends to hurt a lot if you slip up and fall on the floor!

      A lot of animals use their tails to help them balance – Humans seem to do ok at this without them!

      Hope this helps!


    • Photo: Faye Didymus

      Faye Didymus answered on 26 May 2012:

      Hi ellieelephant!
      In fact, we do have tails, the same as all mammals! The coccyx is your tailbone, it’s what’s left of the human tail and it’s just too small to poke out behind us. The simplest answer as to why it can’t be seen from the outside is because we dont need it anymore. Tails are primarily for balancing a quadrapedal animal (seeing as their head is heavy, they would be off balance without a tail). We walk on two legs so a tail would make us off-balance because our head is in line with our body!