What is a tail?

The tail plays an important function in the life of animals. What is the tail and why it is needed - you will learn from our article.

The tail is the part of the animal's body with which it moves, communicates and gives various signals.

The role of the tail in the lives of various animals


Among forest dwellers, squirrels are adapted to life in trees. With the help of the tail, they can jump from tree to tree without losing their balance.

In addition, in winter, the squirrels get warm with the help of the tail: they fold into a ball, covering themselves with the tail, like a blanket. Snow leopards, foxes, arctic foxes and other animals use the same tail application.

A fox

Foxes use the tail like a steering wheel: it helps them turn in the right direction. In addition, the tail helps sly foxes to run away from dogs. When chasing, they wave their tails in one direction, and run away to another, thereby knocking their hunters off the trail.


Beavers use the tail as a paddle - it helps them to move. In addition, with the help of the tail they catch their food.

When building a dam, the tail helps large rodents to maintain balance and is a support. If the beaver notices danger, he will forcefully strike the tail with water.This action will serve as an alarm for his relatives.

Read the article How to make beaver.

A monkey

For the monkey, the tail is a means of transportation between the trees. She can easily hang on a tree, holding only with the help of a tail and at the same time performing other actions.


For this animal tail serves as a means of caution for enemies. He holds a bright tail upright, thereby giving signs to the offenders that it is better not to get involved with him.

Cow / horse

These animals, first of all, with the help of a tail, annoying insects are driven away from themselves. Zebras and lions also adhere to this function.


The predator uses its tail to hunt. With the help of the tail, he is able to knock down even a large animal.


Reptiles are endowed with a tail discharge function in danger. When the enemy’s teeth stick into the tail of the lizard, it drops it in order to protect itself. Moreover, the discarded process can jerk for a long time, while distracting the predator from the lizard. Soon she grows a new tail.

In addition to the functions of movement and protection of the tail is a tool when communicating animals.

For example, a dog in danger or displeasure raises its tail with a pipe, and when it rejoices, it starts waving from side to side.In turn, the expression of emotions in a cat with the help of a tail is different: a raised tail means that the cat is satisfied, but if she wags her tail, then something annoys her.

Read more about the purpose of the tail in cats and dogs in our articles.

Man's tail

In the early periods of the development of a human fetus, an unformed human has a small process - a tail. As a result of the growth of the body, the tail stops growing and turns into a bone, which is called the coccyx.

However, there are cases when the tailbone grew larger than its size and turned into a small tail. Such a phenomenon is called atavism.

If the child is born with an atavism, the tail is removed through surgical intervention.

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