The Evolutionist At Large

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Why modern birds have lost their long flexible tails it is not difficult to see. The tail descends to all higher vertebrates as an heirloom from the fishes, the amphibia, and their other aquatic predecessors. With these it is a necessary organ of locomotion in swimming, and it remains almost equally useful to the lithe and gliding lizard on land. Indeed, the snake is but a lizard who has substituted this wriggling motion for the use of legs altogether; and we can trace a gradual succession from the four-legged true lizards, through snake-like forms with two legs and wholly rudimentary legs, to the absolutely limbless serpents themselves. But to flying birds, on the contrary, a long bony tail is only an inconvenience. All that they need is a little muscular knob for the support of the tail-feathers, which they employ as a rudder in guiding their flight upward or downward, to right or left.
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Product Details

February 3, 2014
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107.48 KB
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Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch... (See More)
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Flowing Text / Pages Flowing Text
Printable? Yes
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