Tails are very crucial part of the animal’s body. You will be surprised to know that human embryos have tails but as the embryo develop into a fetus, the tails dissolve and get absorbed by the growing body. Here we will know the variety of function of animal tails.
1. Tail Helps Them in Balancing
Animals like cats and kangaroos have tails for balancing their body.
2. For Locomotion
Fishes and other forms of marine life have tails for locomotion.
3. For Courtship Rituals (To Attract a Partner for Mating)
The tail of a peacock is known as “train”. It consists of highly elongated upper tail coverts. It is marked with eyespots. The tail of the peacock is there to attract their mates for copulation.
4. To Swat Away the Flies and Other Biting Insects
It is the most common use of tails to swat away the flies away from the body. This behavior is mostly observed among animals like zebras, cows, buffaloes, horses etc.
5. For Defense Purpose
Most of the reptiles like snakes/rattlesnakes use their tail for defense purposes. Scorpions have tails which contains venom which is used for attacking prey.
6. Social Signaling to Indicate Danger
Some of the species like deer use their tails for social signaling. The deer use to erect their tail showing the white part signaling other deer of the possibility of any danger.
7. For Showing Emotions
Animals of Canidae family like dogs, puppies, wolves, foxes indicate emotions by moving their tails.
8. To Escape from Predators
Some species like lizards detaches (casts) their tails from their body to save themselves from a predator. They shed off their old tail and have the capability to generate a new tail. This process is called “regeneration”. But the replaced tail is darker in color and can be easily differentiated. Some species of rats demonstrate a similar function but the process is called “degloving”.
9. For Flight
Most of the birds have tails so that it helps them in flight to soar above. These tail like extended features are called rectrices.
10. To Brace Themselves to the Surface
Birds like woodpecker have tails to brace themselves to the tree trunks to prevent falling. Woodcreepers have it for the same purpose.
11. Marking Territory
Animals like hippopotamus have tails which they swirl around to spread their feces to mark their territory.