Gigantic as these trees are and imposing from their vast columnar trunks, they have little beauty, owing to the scanty foliage of the short rounded boughs; some of the trees stand very close together; they are said to be about four hundred in number.
The hind-feet have only four toes, owing to the suppression of the first, in place of which they have a fleshy pad on the inner side of the foot, between which and the toes boughs and other objects can be firmly grasped as with a hand.
Special adaptations for climbing are exhibited by both pairs of limbs in opossums, and for hanging to boughs in sloths.
But in the great Sala dell' Asse (or della Torre) abundant traces of Leonardo's own hand were found, in the shape of a decoration of intricate geometrical knot or plait work .combined with natural leafage; the abstract puzzle-pattern, of a kind in which Leonardo took peculiar pleasure, intermingling in cunning play and contrast with a pattern of living boughs and leaves exquisitely drawn in free and vital growth.
In old age the huge columnar trunk rises to a great height bare of boughs, while on the upper part the branches are short and irregular.