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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus V: Skeletal Systems: Persistence of the Tail

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus V: Skeletal Systems

Persistence of the Tail

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


From Harrison, 1901.

A well-developed tail is characteristic of the human embryo in the second month. Ususally during the third month the tail regresses and disappears as an anatomic external feature. Occasionally the tail persists and grows with the rest of the body. Tails as long as 23 cm have been reported.

Redrawn from Harrison, R.G. Occurrence of tails in man, with a description of a case reported by Dr. Watson. Johns Hopkins Hosp. Bull.12:96-101, 1901.

Additional references:
Keith, A. The disappearance and reappearance of the human tail. Nature(Lond.) 106:845, 1921.
Wood Jones, F. Human and other tails. Nature (Lond.) 107:487, 1921.

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