Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

Scientists have found fossils of animals with tails that are millions of years old. Back then, early fish used their tails as fins to swim in the oceans and avoid predators.

As these fish evolved into land-dwelling creatures, their tails also began to change.

Nature is the world’s first scientist! Look around you, you will find all kinds of adorable creatures. One of these adaptations is the tail.

Animals with tails come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The tail has a variety of functions, while some common functions include protection, balance, temperature regulation, mating rituals, communication, and territory marking.

Without further ado, give useful information about animals with tails.

Animals With Tails

Thresher Sharks

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

This majestic beast has a long tail that Mother Nature can provide. What gives this shark its name is its long caudal fin. There are four species of thresher sharks, and the largest of them is the Buggy Thresher.

Thresher sharks can grow up to 16 feet, half of which consists of the rear tail fin. Its tail is covered with rows of short, sharp spines that it uses to stun its prey.

They are found in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean and are generally not a threat to humans.

Leopard Whiprays

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

Found in the shallow waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Leopard Whiprays is next on our list of animals with a tail. It has leopard-like spots all over its body, hence its name.

They are carnivores that feed on small fish and squid, which are caught using their hooked tails.

A member of the stingray family, their body width can reach up to 5 feet. Their long and slender tails are usually 4 feet long and have a barb at the end.

Leopard whip rays spend most of their time buried in the ocean floor and are not very active creatures.

Giraffes

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

Most of us have seen these beautiful, long-necked animals at zoos or on safaris. But did you know that along with its famous height, it also claims the longest tail?

Yes, a giraffe’s tail can be 8 feet long! The animal’s long tail serves as a defensive tool against biting insects.

Giraffes reach a height of about 18 feet and are native to Africa. Surprisingly, it can survive by drinking water only once in a few days.

When it comes to eating, these gentle giants can eat up to 75 pounds of food each day. Their favorite is the leaves of the acacia tree!

Read Also: Animals With Patterns

Ribbon-tailed Astrapia

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

They can also be found in upper montane and subalpine forests and are referred to as Shaw Mayer’s Astrapia. This flying beauty has the longest tail in the bird kingdom! Their bodies are medium-sized, growing to about 12 inches.

But the tail can be up to 3 feet long and is often confused with the Astripaia before it can fly. The long-winged whitetail is found only in males and has no other function, other than selection for sexual adaptation.

They are unfortunately on the verge of extinction because of habitat destruction. Another attractive feature of this adult bird is its reddish-green head and bib.

Black Spider Monkeys

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

Spider monkeys are very social primates that spend most of their time in trees. The body of this adorable primate measures 21 inches long. They got their name because of their long tail and limbs.

Its beautiful tail can be up to 34 inches long. Their long tail is often described as a fifth limb and is designed to aid the monkey in its aquatic life.

They are omnivorous creatures; Flowers, nuts, fruits, and insects are among their favorites, and they live up to 40 years of age.

Unfortunately, spider monkeys are on the verge of extinction and are mainly found in the forests of South and Central America. These primates are easily recognized by the white markings on their black fur.

Ring-tailed Lemurs

Another animal whose tail is longer than its body height is a creature animated in the film Madagascar. And yes, they are native to southwestern Madagascar!

Ringed lemurs are social creatures that live in groups known as troops, numbering up to 30 individuals.

Their long tail is about 2 feet long and has 13 black and white stripes. These striped animals use their markings as a means of communication.

That is, when fighting for a female, males will use the odorous secretions found in their tails to outrun each other. A lemur that emits a foul-smelling secretion into the air is more powerful and therefore has a female.

Read Also: Animals With Hooves

Asian Grass Lizards

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

The longest-tailed in the lizard family, Asian grass lizards have bright yellow-green bodies with dark spots. They are primarily found in southern Russia and Southeast Asia’s tropical rainforests.

Their extremely long tail helps the animal balance while climbing through grass blades. Their long tails also come in handy when attacking predators, as they have the ability to drop their tails and escape from danger.

The Asian grass lizard has a body length of about 3-5 inches and a tail of about 9 inches. Their tails usually have six stripes.

Popular with lizard lovers as pets, they often eat snails, fish, insects and even frogs! They are not poisonous, but if threatened, they emit a loud hiss.

Long-tailed Widowbirds

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

Africa as a whole is home to these long-tailed birds, including Angola, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, and Botswana. Due to their long tail, these birds are easily recognized in flight.

The tail is about 20 inches long, twice the length of its body. However, this adaptation is found only in male birds.

According to zoologists, their long tail with twelve wings serves only one purpose. Sexual selection. During breeding seasons, female preferences for males are generally associated with tail length.

Animals With Short Tails

As the name suggests, these animals have short tails measuring only 1.26 inches in length. Their body can grow up to 5.5 inches.

Found mostly in North America and southern Canada, they feed on reptiles, rodents, and small salamanders. When hunting, they use neurotoxins in their saliva to immobilize their prey.

The short-tailed shrew has a shiny coat that is usually black or grayish brown. Most of their time is spent on bills. They are active throughout the year and even eat sunflower seeds, berries and cookies.

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Voles

A vole has the shortest tail in the rodent family. It has a compact body with short legs that are stocky. They have a total length of 6 to 8 inches, while their tails are no more than 3 inches long.

When in large numbers these little animals can cause a lot of damage to fields and vegetable patches. They are also referred to as field mice or meadow mice.

Voles are mostly found in grassy areas or scrub. But their preferred hiding spots are fields, orchards, and windbreaks.

Read Also: Animals with trunks

Bobtail Cats

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

These fluttering creatures are very cute and intelligent. Mostly kept as household pets, bobtail cats are a healthy and robust breed.

They are distinguished from other cats by their unique tail, which is caused by a genetic mutation. Their short tails are 1 to 4 inches long and can only be clearly seen when they are alert!

This breed first appeared in Arizona in the 1960s and has been a household favorite ever since. Their coat can be any color—chocolate, red, blue, lilac, black, brown, or cream—and they shed just minimally.

Bobtail cats live an average of 13 to 15 years. They are very active and love to hide and seek.

Lynx Cats

A member of the cat family, the lynx, has a very prominent short tail. However, they have large claws and long legs. Because they are found in colder regions, they have a thick, rough coat of fur. They have black patches on the tips of their tails as well as their ears.

The reason for the short tail is not exactly clear, but zoologists believe that the loss of the long tail is related to reduced body heat as these cats live in colder regions. In addition, it is believed that the short tail makes these cats even lighter, preventing them from sinking into the snow.

Lynxes can grow up to 46 inches in length, with short tails measuring about 2 to 6 inches. They are excellent climbers as well as excellent swimmers. It is a carnivorous cat that eats mostly other small deer, rabbits and other mammals.

Read Also: Are Lynx Dangerous?

Short-tailed Hawks

These majestic beauties are found primarily in the forests of North America and the Caribbean. Depending on the region, short-tailed hawks prey on small birds as well as lizards, wasps, frogs and even various rodents.

The short-tailed hawk has a tail that is relatively short for its body, reaching a maximum length of 16 inches. In Florida, this bird is frequently referred to as the “little black hawk.”

Most of their feathers are dark brown or black-brown in color. Like other hawks, the adult short-tailed hawk has a loud cry.

Short-tailed Bandicoots

This bandit rat is another short-tailed member of the rodent family. In summer their hair is short and in winter their body is covered with thick, long and soft hair.

The body length of the short-tailed bandicoot ranges from 6.5 to 8.8 inches. In some areas, they are also called Indian bandicoot rats and have brown upper parts. Their underbelly is usually lighter, with a white patch on the throat.

It is a nocturnal creature and spends most of its time in burrows. They live mostly in river valleys and along the shores of lakes in various parts of Asia and Africa. Its many predators include wild cats, weasels, snakes, dogs and cats!

Short-tailed Parrots

Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

This medium-sized bird is found along Amazonian rivers in Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, and is the closest relative of the yellow-faced parrot.

The short-tailed parrot has a large dark bill and a bright green body. Its maximum length is 9.5 inches, and its tail is extremely short.

Adult parrots have a reddish patch on the underside of the outer tail feathers and on the shoulder. These birds gather on the bark of roosting trees in large, excitedly noisy flocks at dusk.

This parrot species is considered endangered due to the destruction of its habitat and the pet trade.

Read Also: Animals with Scales

Frequently Asked Questions About Animal Tails

Why do animals have tails?

Animal tails are used in various ways. And with so many different types of tails, it’s hard to tell all the functions of a tail; However, there are a few common biological functions, you can read more here.

  • A method of communication
  • A part of the mating ritual
  • For defense purpose
  • For balance
  • To regulate body temperature
  • To mark the area

What animal has the longest tail?

Of all land mammals, giraffes have crowned the animals with the longest tails. The tail length of an adult giraffe is said to be 8 feet long.

On the other hand, an animal with the longest tail in proportion to its body is the Asian grass lizard. This long-tailed lizard has a 9-inch tail, which is three times the length of its body.

What cat has the longest tail?

Of all cat breeds, Maine Coons have the longest tails. The largest measured tail of a silver man coon was 17.58 inches, equal to the length of the animal’s body. The main reason these cats have such long tails is that it serves as protection for the animals in the wild cold weather.

What animal has the shortest tail?

The short-tailed shrew has the smallest tail in all of the animal kingdoms. These little creatures measure 5 inches in length overall. A shrew’s tail measures a quarter of its body length, about 1.26 inches.

Last words of Animals with tails

These were some facts about some interesting creatures of the animal kingdom. Be it a long-tailed spider monkey or a short-tailed bandit, each animal has its own unique characteristics.

Thank you for reading. We hope you enjoyed our “Animals with Tails” article! Let us know if you’ve found another contender that can challenge these animals in the short or long-tail category!

Finally, we’d like to offer a related read: Animals with Manes.

Animals With Tails
Animals With Tails

Title: Animals With Tails [Short & Long-Tailed Animals]

Description: Animals with tails come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The tail has a variety of functions, while some common functions include protection, balance, temperature regulation, mating rituals, communication, and territory marking.

Start date: September 13, 2022

Author: Muhammad Ali

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Animals with tails come in all shapes, sizes and colors. The tail has a variety of functions, while some common functions include protection, balance, temperature regulation, mating rituals, communication, and territory marking.

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