Naut's Thoughts > Comments on Why are we bipedal and have tiny invisible tails?

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In contemplating the aspirin-like compounds and splinters our poor

neanderthal cousins used to combat toothache - I seem to remember that the pain killing stuff in aspirin is actually derived from willow bark, so maybe....

These posts are fascinating, Naut... (but a bit long)

posted by Pat_B on March 8, 2017 at 2:28 PM | link to this | reply

This was a very interesting post! sam 

posted by sam444 on March 6, 2017 at 6:13 PM | link to this | reply

Re: GM Re: Wow, Naut

I should also add it took several, years of training after quitting ciggies and pipe! But the hunters on the African Savannah did it literally for a living, and some still do! They can outlast pretty well any of their prey...And the cheetahs stay away from them, LOL...And if you wan to know more about the range of human endurance, read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall...

posted by Nautikos on March 6, 2017 at 10:12 AM | link to this | reply

I find Evolution to be very interesting. So many changes happen out of necessity, and then different animals can go different ways from the common ancestor.

posted by FormerStudentIntern on March 6, 2017 at 9:21 AM | link to this | reply

GM Re: Wow, Naut

I should add - that was a few years ago...

posted by Nautikos on March 6, 2017 at 9:20 AM | link to this | reply

Wow, Naut

I am impressed!!  You are definitely one of the healthier humans!  When I was in the Army,  we were required to run 2 miles,  and I think I did it in about 20 minutes,  and then just about collapsed.  That is 6 MPH.  I cannot imagine doing that for 4 hours,  even when I was young.

At least some of our numbers are in agreement here.

posted by GoldenMean on March 6, 2017 at 9:16 AM | link to this | reply

GM, Re: On second thought.....

I have sustained exactly 6.5 miles/hr for 4 hrs in a Marathon...

posted by Nautikos on March 6, 2017 at 8:56 AM | link to this | reply

On second thought.....

..... a cheetah might not have the bodily reserves to run all day.  Instead,  consider the Pony Express.  In that amazing enterprise,  a horse would run for over an hour at 15 MPH,  before the rider changed to another horse,  who would keep that same pace, in rugged terrain.  The very best world-record professional human runners have only been able to sustain about 13 MPH for one hour,  on a smooth path.  Your average healthy human can probably only sustain about half that speed in an hour,  6.5 MPH.  Your average unhealthy human would probably collapse and die,  trying to run for an hour.  

posted by GoldenMean on March 6, 2017 at 2:12 AM | link to this | reply

Naut

Interesting post.....  I have also wondered why we humans lost our bodily hair.  I rather like the hair of a cat or dog,  it is fun to stroke and pet.  Wouldn't that be a great addition to the love rituals of humans,  but alas,  we have lost almost all of our hair,  for some ridiculous reason.....

I take exception to one of your points.  You wrote: "I think what’s crucial here is the ability to run longer, if not necessarily faster! Even now there aren't many animals that can outlast a well-trained human long distance runner!"

That is an interesting point.  But most 4-legged animals that can outrun humans,  have no reason to run at limited speed for long distances.  To them,  that would be very foolish.  What would be the point of running long distance at limited speed,  if you are not being pursued by a predator?  Or in the case of a cheetah,  if you are not chasing your next meal?  I would bet you that a cheetah could keep pace with the best human marathon runner all day,  and then catch him and eat him for supper.  Cheers

posted by GoldenMean on March 6, 2017 at 1:14 AM | link to this | reply

Re: Nautikos

I was being completely serious about tails, Naut! Here's a link, actually two:

http://io9.gizmodo.com/5967742/the-science-of-human-tails

The science of human tails

posted by RPresta on March 5, 2017 at 1:05 PM | link to this | reply

Oh, I'm so sorry, but after I'd read your article and comments thereon,

my monkey mind took a great R-rated leap into the inappropriate, something to do with tails and pieces, which wouldn't do for a family-oriented blog at all. I enjoyed this post.

posted by Pat_B on March 5, 2017 at 11:16 AM | link to this | reply

I think a tail would be rather nice on a young lady Naut. Of course such a person would probably be of a seductive nature. Just imagine it curling around ones neck and softly

 squeezing.   Did you read recently that a form of life had been newly discovered in rock? I love these explanatory blogs of yours , I file them away for interest. 

posted by C_C_T on March 5, 2017 at 10:53 AM | link to this | reply

I always wanted a tail. Still do actually. Mr Graysome has learned slowly that he has to share his tail with me. I love to play with it, never pull it or hurt him just so envious.

posted by Kabu on March 5, 2017 at 10:41 AM | link to this | reply

Nautikos

Loved the post, Naut! Bizarrely, did you know some humans are still born with tails! Really. And, I've read somewhere that tails aided balance, probably for bipedals. Either way, a fun post! Wouldn't it be something if we had developed wings? 

posted by RPresta on March 5, 2017 at 10:35 AM | link to this | reply

Hi Naut!  LOL  I'm laughing because it's nice to read your very informative post and to see that some things haven't changed.  I have never thought much about the fact that we walk upright... or that we don't have tails.  But I do tend to prefer dogs that have short stubby (cut) tails rather than those long ones that knock stuff off the furniture.  :)

posted by -blackcat on March 5, 2017 at 10:28 AM | link to this | reply

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