Like humans, various species of animals, birds and plants live on this planet Earth. We look different from each other and possess different qualities. Talking about birds and animals, they have tails and you will be surprised to know that humans also have tails and in our embryonic stage, that tail is even visible. As we develop, the tail becomes an internal structure used as an anchor for muscle. Well, what is the importance of a tail in birds and animals’ life? Why do they have it? Let us tell you!
For balance and Locomotion
Watch a dog or cat in a run and you can see how the tail acts as a counterbalance. It also helps in gripping and manipulation, especially when hands and feet are being used to navigate tree limbs. Fishes and other forms of marine life have tails for locomotion, means to move from one place to another.
A bird’s tail is made up of feathers called rectrices. These are used for stability and control and make them fly.
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.
For protection and Defense
As they don’t have hands, they use their tail as an armour. It is the most common use of tails to swat away the flies away from the body. Animals like goat, zebras, cows, buffaloes, horses etc do that.
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.
Animals also use their tails to communicate. It displays many emotions, such as fear, excitement, and irritation. Your dog’s tail wags can indicate happiness or friendliness, and they also help your dog communicate with other dogs.
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”.