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Why Do Animals Need A Tail
The tail evolved at least 500 million years ago and has played every conceivable role since then. It is difficult to imagine a cat or a dog without a tail. Why do animals need a tail? Many of us have asked this question more than once. Let's look at what it is, why it matters and why it works so well.
Grazing animals such as elephants, zebras and giraffes have long, thin tail with tufts of hair at the end to protect themselves from insect bites.
In the wild, both domesticated animals use tail for communication, balance, locomotion, defense, and the beating of flies, of course.
In a number of rodents (particularly, in rats) a long, almost hairless tail serves as a thermoregulator - its blood supply characteristics allow it to increase or decrease the amount of heat given to the environment as needed.
Fish and marine mammals use their tail to steer their fins through the water. Alligators, crocodiles, and fish use their ends as tails to drift through the water.
In many bird species, the tail serves to steer in flight and to keep the balance when sitting or flying.
Tree animals such as squirrels use the tail as a balance rudder for jumping, and in spiders, monkeys, and chameleons it is a tangible fifth link that increases mobility and stability.
Humans walk on two legs, so we don't need a tail to keep balance. Tails act as a counterbalance and reduce the load on the animal when it goes upside down. As you can see, each animal has its own unique way of using its tail for several reasons.