Elephants' Knees

evilsprout

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 27, 2001
Messages
1,218
Likes
19
Points
69
#1
Bear with me on this one....

Elephants are the only animals on earth with four knees.

For child-like simplicity, we'll call animals' forelegs "arms", and their hind legs "legs". So are elephants' front legs "arms", with modified elbows that have become knees, or do they actually have four "legs"?

And if they have four "legs", does this mean evolutionarily speaking, a limb, or indeed any other part of an animals' body, can suddenly transform into another something else? And does this make elephants the ultimate freaks of nature?!

Is there a geneticist in the house? :eek!!!!: And can anyone understand a word I just said?!
 

marion

Ungnoing.
Joined
Nov 3, 2001
Messages
1,574
Likes
172
Points
94
#2
I do- its all to do with the proportions in the limbs, in a dog say, the skeletal equivalent of our heel is the backward pointing joint half way up their back leg, in an elephant this joint is much lower down near the foot more like our leg, with the knee joint more obvious when they walk,again like our legs, in a dog the knee joint is higher up the limb close to the body , the elephant's front legs are more like a dog's front legs, with the equivalent of our wrist being the forward pointing joint, the elbows being close to the body like a dog's again. Elephants dogs and humans all have the same basic structure in their limbs, just in different proportions.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#4
LobeliaOverhill said:
Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump ...
the only "animals"???? snakes, alligators and so on can't really jump either. in fact, cows can't jump worth a damn - that's how cattleguards work.
 

ArthurASCII

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 26, 2002
Messages
1,541
Likes
23
Points
69
#5
LobeliaOverhill said:
Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump ...
Ah but they can - they just do it while no-one's watching. Those trunks, when joined, make excellent skipping ropes ;)

And what about the Australian marsupial elephant ?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#7
Trunk

So why is the elephant (well, the family, including the mastodon, mammoth etc) the only animal, apparently EVER according to the fossil record, to have evolved a prehensile trunk? Ya know, there are no dinosaurs with trunks. No amphibians with trunks...
 

UsernameHere1

Junior Acolyte
Joined
Oct 10, 2003
Messages
53
Likes
0
Points
37
#8
Re: Trunk

sninik said:
So why is the elephant (well, the family, including the mastodon, mammoth etc) the only animal, apparently EVER according to the fossil record, to have evolved a prehensile trunk? Ya know, there are no dinosaurs with trunks. No amphibians with trunks...

There are dozens of mammals with trunks outside Probiscidea. Animals that are not members of the clade Synapsida do not have the necessary facial muscles to develop a trunk. Although the current theory regarding sauropods is that they had a short trunk, but it did not even reach the mouth.
 

Imperial_Call

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
1,194
Likes
10
Points
69
#9
sninik said:
the only "animals"???? snakes, alligators and so on can't really jump either. in fact, cows can't jump worth a damn - that's how cattleguards work.
Oh pardon me, land living mammals ... (cows can jump - I've seen them do so, in fact one crazy biddy actually trained a cow to be ridden like a horse and jump small fences)
Snakes and alligators are reptiles ...
 

The late Pete Younger

Venerable and Missed
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
5,908
Likes
127
Points
129
#10
LobeliaOverhill said:
Oh pardon me, land living mammals ... (cows can jump - I've seen them do so, in fact one crazy biddy actually trained a cow to be ridden like a horse and jump small fences)
Snakes and alligators are reptiles ...
I've never seen a Giraffe jump, but I have seen a horsefly.:)
 
Top