Amazing reasons for animal tails?

by Peter Barnes
animal tails

The animal tails are the part which came out from the body at the rear end of certain kinds of animals. All animals which have the tail, use it for various purposes. Some are use it to attack, rout insects, to give some signals or express love and mostly they are dealing with balance their body. Only a few domesticated animals use tails to express.

Why do animals need tails?

  • To keep their balance
  • To show emotion
  • To move
  • To survive an attack
  • To attack enemies
  • To keep flies away
  • To attract the opposite sex

There are plenty of stories about tail. Specially Hanuman from the Indian myths and can you remember in the Harry Potter Movie, that Hagrid gave Dudley a tail after Dudley ate Harry’s birthday cake. Famous one is the fox tail which we taught as kids during elementary school. This sounds like a joke because people don’t have tails, but what would we do if we really had tails?

Experts have confirmed that humans also had tails in the early stages of human evolution, and that we have lost them because they are no longer useful to us. Such organs and body parts are known as remnants (vestigial) and in fact some of them are even in human bodies! However, since we have heard many stories about the tail and its evolution since childhood, we will look at the scientific side of the tail.

Photo Story

It was found that a baby girl with a tail, was born on May 30, 2019, in Noakhali, Bangladesh. This is the first time these kind of incident happened in Bangladesh’s history. She was a second child of the family.

It is 16 cm long tail and after conducting few medical tests, specialists found that the tail had no nerves or bone and also it is not connected to the spinal cord. Doctors have done successful surgery at Al-Karim General Hospital to remove the tail.

Ancestors and their tails

As our ancestors began to live on the ground, they no longer needed a tail to hang on to trees. It is said to have gradually disappeared from the human body due to limited use of the tail and obstruction to easy movement. But we still have a tail bone that helps us to sit, but we no longer have a visible tail.

The tail of animals is preserved because they are still benefited from it. However, the use of animal tails is different from each other. Some domesticated animals use the tail to express and communicate emotions, and for all animals the tail has become an essential part of the body in dealing with balance, safety, and mobility.

Did you know that there are two types of animal tails ?

Prehensile and non-Prehensile Tails – The Prehensile tail is the one that can be used to grab and hold the things. The Prehensile tail functions as a fifth organ of the body. Monkeys are a very popular animal with Prehensile tails. Many of other animals have non-Prehensile tails.

Flyswatter Skills

It is not uncommon for cattle, horses, and many other animals to be infested with flies and insect bites. But their hands are not able to repel the animals like humans, so they use their tails for that.

Tails can protect animals from Cold

Animals that live in cold regions, cover their noses with their tails to protect themselves from the cold.

To Balance their body

Many animals use their tails to balance their bodies as they move through very small spaces and between the branches of trees.

For Communication Purposes

Often our pet dogs and cats use their tails to show their love for the owner. Normally cats curled tail around it and swaying slowly from side to side. Dog use to wag a tail when he is happy and a tail held low when he is sad or to get attention for some reason. When those pets are intimate and angry, their communication skills change. The same condition can be seen in animals even after a conflict with their rival animal. In such cases, the cat’s tail getting straight. Dogs stiff their tail and may be tucked their tail between the legs as a sign of submission.

Did you know this?

In fact, this is something that is unique to hippopotamuses. They use their tails to mark their territory by spreading their poops around a significant area. Then the other hippos will not enter that area.

Some lizards and geckos use their tails in a very special way. The tail helps the lizard geckos to escape if they fall prey to a trap or predator. What they do is they throw their tails for the predator’s food and run away. Then the lizards and geckos begin to grow a new tail surprisingly.

You will find this feature among several alligator species. In fact, they can store fat in their tails for up to two years (without eating anything) to keep the animal safe for a long time without food. In addition, the alligator uses its tail for protection as well as for swimming.

Do you know about the tail growing process?

Researchers have found that the Lizard’s and Geckos’ native stem cells are the primary factor hampering tail regeneration by transplanting neural stem cells between species. Lizards and geckos support the process by catching muscles around the fractured body area. The pulling apart of the muscles causes the tail to fall off along the line of weakness. Some species of lizards then regenerate the broken tails over six months to a year and geckos getting speed recovery than lizards.

Animals without tails

If we classify animals without tails, we have to remove the mammals from that. Because they have a tail (including humans). Among them, chimps and gorillas receive special attention.

Some of the tail less animals are:

  • Chimps
  • Spiders
  • Worms
  • Frogs
  • Jellyfish
  • Centipedes
  • Kiwis
  • Crabs
  • Corals
  • Clams

Apart from this you can see animals without tails in large quantity.

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