Saturday, August 21, 2010

The least trustworthy of animals

The animal least worthy of trust is the centaur. With its soft, downy fur and playful sense of irony it pretends mammalianism but, like the insect, its limbs are six. The internet has noticed:

Re: Mommy, where do Centaurs come from?

Eldariel, 08-28-2009, 09:00 AM
It's worth remembering that Centaurs have 6 limbs and thus cannot be mammals. Indeed, I'd say their likeness to Humans and Horses is only coincidental and they are descend from insects whose exoskeleton just so happens to remind skin (why do you think they have natural armor?) and whose antennae have developed to double as ears.

Eldariel called it good. But further down on the same page of internet Mark Hall says this:

Mark Hall, 08-28-2009, 08:21 PM
Technically, 5. Humans and other apes are a little freakish in that we've only got 4, though our 5th is visible in our skeletons.

Hall means tails. Tails are limbs ergo mammals have five limbs. But are tails limbs, Hall? According to the dictionary, a tail is a jointed or prehensile appendage. Prehensile can mean grabby, quick on the uptake, or avaricious. Consider the horse's tail: it is none of these things. At best, the horse's tail is swishy. Here is a diagram:

In a modern horse, the tail does contain some bones and is ergo jointed. But the bones are few and the nature of the horse's tail is predominantly swishy, not jointed. Ergo, the horse's tail is not a limb and ergo centaurs are insects.

Turning now to the skeletal system of a modern centaur, we see that the problems make manifold their instances:

Two ribcages. Wherein, we are supposed to believe, throb two hearts, two pancreata, two souls? Not likely. The centaurs' treachery is too base to be given full expression in Earth languages.
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