Research, Technology

How different types of animals use their tail

Many animals living on Earth have tails.- it is located in the back of the body, has a different shape and performs many functions. In land animals, the tail most often plays the role of a balancer during movement and is used for communication. In fish and other aquatic life forms, the tail is an essential organ of movement. Birds, in turn, use their tails during flight, and without this body part, it would be very difficult for them to maneuver in the air and brake. How do dogs use their tails? Recently, scientists conducted an experiment that revealed new details about the role of the tail in the lives of our little friends. We think this is an excellent opportunity to talk in detail about the function of the tail, not only in dogs, but also in other animals.

Each animal uses its tail in its own way.

Interesting fact: for the most part, onlychordate animals. This is the name of living organisms that have a spine, a closed circulatory system, a brain, a skull and respiratory organs. Sometimes "tails" are called the rear parts of the body in invertebrates such as scorpions. In fact, these arthropods do not have a tail - this is a metasoma.


  • 1 Why does a dog have a tail
  • 2 Why do cats have a tail
  • 3 Why do birds have a tail
  • 4 Tail of fish and marine animals
  • 5 Why do horses have a tail
  • 6 Why beavers have big tails
  • 7 How Kangaroos Use Their Tails
  • 8 How monkeys use their tail
  • 9 Did people have a tail

Why does a dog have a tail

For many years scientists have been convinced thatthat the main function of a dog's tail is to assist in movement. Indeed, when observing dogs, one can notice that when walking calmly, they keep their tail up, and while running, they align it with the spine. You might think that in this way dogs reduce air resistance in order to run faster.

Scientists thought dogs used their tails to move, but that's not true.

Recently, to find out what's wrong, scientiststracked the movements of 25 different types of dogs. After that, they created a computer model of their movement and looked at how the speed and height of the animal's jumps change when the tail is up and down. As it turned out, the position of the tail in no way affects the speed of movement and the height of the jumps. Based on this, the scientists came to the conclusion that dogs do not use their tail for maneuverability.

It seems that the main function of the tail of dogs is communication.

In their opinion, the tail of the dogs may be their waycommunication. Indeed, scientists have long noticed that the position of the tail of animals often changes depending on their mood. There are even tables that help you understand what the dog wants to say.

What does the position of the dog's tail mean:

  • dog's tail up - she shows dominance or rejoices;
  • the dog's tail is carried horizontally - she shows interest;
  • dog's tail down - she demonstrates humility and fear;
  • dog wags its tail - if it is directed to the right, the animal rejoices, and if it is directed to the left, it is on the alert.

All of the above is true for most dog breeds.

See also: How dogs, cats and other animals see the world - see for yourself in the photos

Why do cats have a tail

Cats use their tail more thandogs. First of all, cats need a tail for balance - scientists believe that it is thanks to it that they can walk along narrow fences and not fall. It is also believed that with the help of the tail, the cats turn their body during the fall and land strictly on four paws. Each cat's tail contains many nerves that help them sense their surroundings. That must be why they don't like it when someone touches their tail.

By the tail of a cat you can understand what she wants

Of course, cats use their tail ascommunication tool. So they not only talk to each other - watching their tail, you can understand what emotional state they are in right now.

What does a cat's tail mean?

  • the cat's tail is a pipe, pointing up - she is happy, friendly and ready to play;
  • the cat's tail is upright, but the tip is bent - she's just in a good mood;
  • the cat's tail moves sideways - she is irritated
  • cat's tail down She is tired and doesn't want to play.

See also: Can Cats Be Trained Like Dogs?

Why do birds have a tail

Most birds need a tail to fly.Primarily, birds use the feathers on the back of their bodies to maneuver in the air. But that's not all - with the help of a tail, they increase their carrying capacity and soar in the air without spending a lot of energy. Some birds use their tails as a brake, and you've probably seen pigeons fluff their tails like a fan when they land.

The tail helps birds fly with less energy.

Some species of birds like peacocks have a very large and beautiful tail - it helps them attract the attention of females.

Peacock tail helps attract females

Interesting scientific discovery: In amber found the tail-bait of an unknown bird

Tail of fish and marine animals

Fish swim quite differently from other animals -they do not have full limbs, so they are replaced by fins and a tail. Most famous fish wags their tails, but sharks and rays move them up and down. No one doubts that fishtails are the best tool for swimming - after all, it’s not without reason that people use fins similar to them?

Some fish have a luxurious tail, which is also designed to attract the attention of females.

Why do horses have a tail

Horses, cows and other livestock usetail to protect against flies, horseflies and gadflies. On hot days, they actively swing it like a fly swatter, preventing insects from laying eggs in their skin. If not for the tail, it would be very difficult for livestock to live.

Some horses have truly magnificent tails.

Why do beavers have big tails

The tail of the beaver deserves special attention.With the help of this wide and unfurled instrument, rodents swim perfectly in the water. They can also tap their tail on the water and warn relatives of danger. In case of special need, beavers can sit on their tail like on a stool - this is especially useful when they gnaw a tree trunk for a long time. On top of all this, the beaver tail is a great tool for regulating body temperature, which helps keep you warm in the summer.

The tail of a beaver performs a lot of functions, and people also eat it.

Finally, it is worth noting that beavers store intail fat. When animals store a lot of nutrients, the back of their body noticeably increases in size. Pygmy jerboas, gerbils and marsupial mice also use their tails as storage.

Jerboa with a long tail

See also: Phrynes are terrible creatures from "Harry Potter" that exist in reality

How kangaroos use their tail

For some animals like the kangaroo, the tailis almost a fifth leg - they use it as a support. Scientists have known about this for a long time and even gave this method of locomotion the name "pentapedal locomotion." It is believed that dinosaurs used their tails in the same way millions of years ago.

Kangaroos use their tail as a fifth leg.

How monkeys use their tail

Monkeys living in tropical forests oftenhang on the branches of trees, holding onto them with their tail. For example, yellow-tailed monkeys (Oreonax flavicauda), which are found only in the forests of the Republic of Peru, in South America, have the ability to hang on their tail. The length of their tail sometimes exceeds the length of the body and reaches 63 centimeters.

Also, some monkeys use their tail as an additional limb.

Did people have a tail

Once upon a time, the distant ancestors of people also hadtail. According to scientists, it disappeared during the separation of the evolutionary lines of great and marmoset monkeys about 20-25 million years ago. It is believed that the tail was lost due to an increase in the size of the body - the ancient primates stopped moving through the trees and the need for a tail to maintain balance disappeared. At the moment, only the coccyx, the lower spine, which is a vestigial organ, reminds us of the tail.

The ancient primate proconsuls (far left in the picture), the tail was already missing

However, due to mutation, some children are stillare born with a tail. In ancient times, such people were considered the personification of the devil, but in India they were mistaken for those sent by the monkey-like god Hanuman. In the modern world, if a child has a tail, it is simply cut off - newborns quickly recover tissues, and the operation goes without complications. Some people live with a tail, like the Indian Chandre with a 36 cm process in the back of the body. People consider him the messenger of the deity and are blessed to touch his tail.

Indian Chandre and his tail

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