If humans hadn't lost their tails and today we had fully prehensile tails as long as 1/2 our body and stronger than an arm, how would the tail of a bodybuilder or just a buff person look? Would tail muscles be as visible as the trapezium or the abdominal and change completely the appearance and morphology of the body, or would they be non-visible?

And most importantly, how would the back of a human look?

By fully prehensile I mean the tail can be controlled to lift, move or hold still weights as heavy as the person's own body (just like monkeys do), and it can also do involuntary motions to express emotions just like our faces do. Tails are used as third limbs in daily life.


1 Answer 1


If your tail is as powerful as an arm, there is as much muscle in the tail as in the arm.

Consequently, muscle will be a major part of the tail (like the ratio muscle/bone in the arm) and therefore extremely visible, especially if a specific training is in progress in order to buff the tail's strength.

Concerning the back: spine and pelvis would have to be stronger and more solid in order to support the weight lift by the tail.

  • $\begingroup$ Could a tail that thick/strong be prehensile? $\endgroup$
    – WGroleau
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ A thick tail would still be prehensile, even if it would be less flexible than a chimp tail: I think of a 6/10cm wide tail. $\endgroup$
    – Metushael
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 15:47

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