Why do animals need a tail?

Many animals can boast of having a tail: animals and birds, amphibians, and fish. But we will tell you about those tales that you can meet most often in human homes. We will talk mostly about the tails of dogs, cats, and mice.

Why do animals need tails?

Often young children, just beginning to learn about the world around them, ask their parents the same question: “Why do animals grow tails?” It should be noted that not every parent can give a clear and truthful answer to this simple question.

Typically, the answer is the clichéd phrases that so, they say, it works. But inquisitive little minds are rarely satisfied with such a general answer and continue to seek more specific reasons.

Especially for these inquisitive kids, and for the peace of mind of their parents, we report these reasons really are.

Tails grow because, without them, many animals would feel “like without hands”. With their tails, animals can communicate and express their emotions, find new friends and scare away opponents, defend themselves and attack, keep warm, signal danger, climb trees, steer their own bodies when running, jumping, flying, or swimming, keep their balance or simply have fun. Tails play a very important role in the lives of most animals.

What does a cat need a tail for?

One of the most graceful animals is rightly considered a cat. This cute animal knows perfectly how to handle its own tail and does not hesitate to use this skill in the slightest need. The tail is very important to the cat for several reasons.

First, a cat’s tail serves to maintain balance. Look at the cat walking along the fence or branch: as soon as its center of gravity for any reason is displaced to the side, it immediately compensates for this by bending its tail in the opposite direction.

Cats owe their unique dexterity and grace to their tails: it helps them when running, jumping, climbing on fences, trees, and roofs, as well as when falling from heights, in which case the tail serves as a balancer helping them to land on their feet.

Second, with the help of the tail cats expresses their emotions. A cat’s tail serves as a reliable indicator of mood and a means of communication with other people. If the cat keeps its tail up and moves it slightly, then it is in a calm mood. If the cat is irritated, it twitches its tail to its sides.

When indecisive, a cat wags and twirls its tail in an agitated state. If you do not have your own pet, watch the neighbor’s cat, and you quickly discern the many shades of mood, which it expresses with different tail movements.

Also, young kittens can play with their own tail for a long time: fight with it or chase it. Watching kittens frolic, you can really cheer yourself up.

Why do dogs need tails?

Dogs use their tails to express their emotions, but they do it slightly differently. Tails that wag show excitement or friendliness, tails that wag when upright would signal wariness, and tails that wag from side to side are probably threatening. A flattened tail is a sign of fright, and this applies to both dogs and cats.

The tail plays an important role in body language. The range of emotions expressed by the tail in dogs is much wider than in cats. But the dog’s tail is hardly involved in the coordination of movements, so some dogs have it cropped.

Why do dogs have their tails cropped?

Cocking a dog’s tail is a long tradition. It originated as a way to make the dog less vulnerable in hunting and fighting. Over time, the tail has become an inherent standard in some dog breeds. These days, there is some debate about tail docking.

Some cynologists and veterinarians today believe that it serves purely cosmetic purposes. Therefore, pruning is unjustifiably cruel, while others say it protects the dog from possible painful injuries.

Every owner decides for himself whether to cut the tail of his four-legged friend, but if the dog doesn’t take part in hunting or dog fights, the tail cutting can only fulfill a cosmetic, decorative function.

What are the tails of mice for?

Since ancient times, mice have been neighbors of humans, but how much do you know about these little nimble animals? House mice represent one of the many species of mammals.

A mouse’s tail is at least 60% of its body length. This dailiness has its own explanation: thanks to its tail, the mouse is a very agile and viable animal.

Mice, like cats, use their tails to keep their balance. But their tails are also very strong – a mouse can even pull itself up on its tail if it gets caught on something.

Thanks to their small size and nimble tails, mice can get into the most hard-to-reach places. This helps them a lot to get their own food. If a wild mouse loses its tail, it quickly dies.

So we’ve figured out why animals need a tail. Give us your thoughts on this in the comments.

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