English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What does low mean here?

It is also known as the common shoulder muscle, particularly in lower animals (e.g., in domestic cats). Deltoid is also further shortened in slang as "delt". The plural forms of all three incarnations are deltoidei, deltoids and delts.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

oxford dictionaries says "animals of relatively simple or primitive characteristics as contrasted with humans or with more advanced animals such as mammals or vertebrates".

They are "lower" in terms of their "biological complexity", e.g. apes are higher animals, worms are lower animals

also: lower animals have a very simple nervous system higher animals have developed eyes, a more complex brain and so on

share|improve this answer
Note that cats are not noticeably simpler in any developmental or biological sense than humans, so the only part of this answer which is relevant is "contrasted with humans". – Colin Fine Sep 16 '12 at 12:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.