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tails

Thursday 9 February 2006

The true, or persistent, vestigial tail of humans arises from the most distal remnant of the embryonic tail.

It contains adipose and connective tissue, central bundles of striated muscle, blood vessels, and nerves and is covered by skin. Bone, cartilage, notochord, and spinal cord are lacking.

The true tail arises by retention of structures found normally in fetal development. It may be as long as 13 cm, can move and contract, and occurs twice as often in males as in females.

A true tail is easily removed surgically, without residual effects. It is rarely familial.

See also

- pseudotails