MadSci Network: Anatomy

Re: Is it possible for a human to have a tail surgically added?

Date: Sat Mar 1 09:49:16 2003
Posted By: Jeffrey Utz, Software Engineer
Area of science: Anatomy
ID: 1046056876.An

No, it is not possible to have a tail surgically implanted and actually 

For the tail to actually work, there has to be some way of controlling it. 
For example, if you had an arm reattached, the spinal cord already has 
nerve cells to control it and the nerves are present to. If you attach a 
tail to someone, there are no nerve cells to control it. In addition, 
people don;t have bone structures that can support a tail (I know we have 
the tailbone and all that, but the structures evolved as our posture 
evolved to an upright posture.) Finally, there is a question of where we 
would get such a tail. We can't transplant a monkey tail, becuase the body 
would reject it (like it would a monkey heart or monkey kidney). And we 
don;t have a way to make one from human parts.

So, to transplant a working tail, we would have to be able to control it, 
have structures to support it and be able to get one. We can't do any of 

Thanks for your interesting question.


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