Animals have different kinds of tails such as long-tail, short-tail, thick-tail, thin-tail, bushy-tail, furry-tail, prehensile-tail, and so on.
Among them, Long-tails are common. Right! If so, can we know what animals have long-tails and reasons for them to have long tails?
This article is meant for exploring Animals with long tails and the reasons for their long tails. Let’s see them and know how long they can reach .
Wild animals with long tails:
The giraffe is a herbivorous, tallest mammal that belongs to the Genus Giraffa and Family Giraffidae and is found in East Africa, and Southern Africa.
Among the land animals,Giraffe has the longest tail that is about 3.3 feet (1 m) in length, with sandy and brown colored patches that ends with a long black tuft that is used for swatting insects or is used against flies. Some giraffes can develop long tails up to 8 feet (2.4 m) including its tuft.
Giraffe tails are found to curl-up, while they are galloping.
The ring-tailed lemur is an omnivorous, diurnal animal that belongs to the Genus Lemur and Family Lemuridae and is found in southwestern Madagascar and other places.
They have long furry tails that actually have about 13 alternating black and white-colored bands or rings. It is non-prehensile, not capable of gripping but is primarily used for balancing while climbing trees, and warning by waving them at the rival group.
In mating season, To show their dominance they will cover smelly secretions on their tails and wave them in the air to know whose scent is more powerful. That’s really crazy, and weird especially when the whole group is involved in doing it.
Black Spider Monkey
The black spider monkey, also known as the Guiana, red-faced spider monkey, is a New World monkey that is found in eastern South America, the Amazon River, and other places.
Compared to their body length, they have long tails about 84 cm in length. It has a prehensile tail that is the muscular and tactile type and is strong enough to hold its entire body weight so they hang through while gathering food, drinking water, and so on.
Its tail lack hair at the underside and also at the tip to provide extra grip while grasping, hanging through it.
The red kangaroo is the largest herbivorous animal and is the largest species among the kangaroos that are found in western Australia, and central Australia.
‘Big Red’ is the name given by the Australians as they are larger animals in Australia with a long tail about 42 inches (1.2 m) in length. Its long tails are used as a tripod when standing upright, especially when they are engaged in boxing with each other, and are used also for balancing or supporting while walking or jumping.
The study suggests that its long tails help them move forward easily.
The Angola colobus, also known as Angolan black-and-white colobus or Angolan colobus, is a monkey that belongs to the Old World monkey in the Genus Colobus and Family Cercopithecidae and is found in Kenya and other places.
They have thin and long tails about 75 cm long that are black or white throughout their length with a white tip. Its tails are used for balancing while climbing trees and walking.
A Pangolin, including about eight species of them, also known as scaly anteaters, is a scaly mammal in the order Pholidota and is found in Africa and Asia.
They have long scaly tails about 45 cm in length and about 15 scales on the edge of their tails. Its tails are partially prehensile and support for body balance depending on the subspecies. Among the eight types of Pangolins some have thick tails, long tails, fully or partially prehensile tails.
As a nocturnal and shy animal they are found to curl into a ball from head to scaly tip of a tail.
A Howler monkey is a large-sized monkey that belongs to the New World monkey, Family Atelidae and is found in southern Brazil, Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, and northern Argentina.
They have tails that are thick, long about five times their own body length, and are prehensile in nature. Thus, Its prehensile tails are used picking fruit and nuts, and are also found to coil around the branches while walking, climbing trees, especially the juveniles do so more frequently than the adults.
Its long and thick tails are stronger enough to hold or support their entire body weight.
The woolly monkeys are New World monkeys that are placed in the family Atelidae and Genus Lagothrix and are found in South America and other places.
They have long tails longer than the body about 63 cm long which are prehensile tails capable of supporting entire animal body weights. Its family members have a hairless patch on the underside of their tail with a yellowish pelage giving the name Yellow-tailed woolly monkey.
Small animals with long tails:
Eastern Glass Lizard
An eastern glass lizard is a legless reptile that some people confuse as snakes even though they are not so but is actually a lizard that belongs to the Genus Ophisaurus, Family Anguidae, and is found in Georgia, South Carolina, Southeastern United States.
These animals have a long tail that is useful as they can be cut or broken under the attack of predators to escape from them while the predator is distracted by the wriggling tail. Interestingly, they can regrow their lost tail again through a process of regeneration power- that’s their supernatural ability.
Why are they called so? These animals are called ‘glass lizards’ because they are capable of breaking their tails into several pieces, like glass.
A binturong, also known as bearcat, is a viverrid mammal that belongs to the Genus Arctictis and Family Viverridae and is found in Asia, Bangladesh, Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Philippines, Nepal, and South China.
They have a bushy, long tail about 70 cm in length that is thick at the root, prehensile type, with curly tip. Interestingly, Its tail is more muscular at the base and also paler in color at the base with the same color as its body.
A ribbon-tailed astrapia, also known as Shaw Mayer’s astrapia, is a bird belonging to the bird-of-paradise in the Genus Astrapia and Family Paradisaeidae and is found in Papua New Guinea.
They have long tails, especially males, about 100 cm while their body is only about 32 cm long. Therefore, ribbon-tailed astrapia are the birds with the longest tail feathers in comparison to the body length of any bird.
Which bird has a long tail? The male Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia has a long tail of about 100 cm.
A long-tailed widowbird, also called Sakabula, is a medium-sized bird that belongs to the Genus Euplectes and Family Ploceidae and is found in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia.
Like most birds, long-tailed widowbirds also have long tails to attract females that are about 20 inches in length. Its long tails have about twelve tail feathers, among these, about six to eight tail feathers are supported for its long tail.
Its long tails are used primarily to attract females.
Long-Tailed Grass Lizard
A long-tailed grass lizard, also known as Asian grass lizard or six-striped long-tailed grass lizard, is a diurnal lizard that belongs to the Genus Takydromus and Family Lacertidae and is found in India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and other places.
They have long and thin tails about 5 inches in length that are prehensile in nature. These tails are used for balance, especially when they are moving swiftly and swimming or walking on the water and tall grasses.
Its tails are so long, about three times the length of their own body.
Malabar giant squirrel
An Indian giant squirrel, also known as Malabar giant squirrel, is a large-sized species of a squirrel with diurnal and arboreal behavior that belongs to the Genus Ratufa and Family Sciuridae and is found in the states of India.
They have long furry tails about 45 cm in length that are reddish-maroon at upper parts, whitish color at the distal part.
Its long tails are used for balancing and supporting while feeding and hanging through their hindlimb.
Jesus Christ lizard
A Jesus Christ lizard, also known as common basilisk, is a species of lizard in the Genus Basiliscus and Family Corytophanidae and is found in Central America, South America and other places with water habitats.
Interestingly, They are the animals that can run on the surface of water because of their long tails and long legs. Its long tails constitute about 75% of their total body length, Thus a Jesus Christ lizard with 70 cm long can have a tail of about 50 cm long.
Surprisingly, They can run on water surfaces because the great force produced by their legs prevents them from sinking into the water thus they walk or run on the water surface.
White nosed coati
A white-nosed coati, also known as the coatimundi, is an omnivorous small-sized mammal in the Genus Nasua and Family Procyonidae that are found in Central America, South America, Arizona, and Argentina.
Its tail is as long as its body length when measuring from the nose to the origin of the tail. Thus they have a tail length of about 110 cm. Its tail is thick, semi-prehensile with fur that is used for balancing and supporting while climbing trees and often kept in an erect position to their body.
A Tree-kangaroo is a true arboreal macropod and also a marsupial in the Genus Dendrolagus and Family Macropodidae and is found in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia Queensland, and Australia.
Its tail length is about 75 cm which is more than its head-body length of about 65 cm. Like many arboreal animals, these Tree-kangaroo are also adapted for arboreal locomotion by not only having long tails but also a pendulous tail supporting and balancing while moving on the trees.
Other animals with long tails:
Common Thresher Shark
Thresher shark is a large-sized shark belonging to the Genus Alopias and Family Alopiidae and is found in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, Newfoundland, and Cuba.
Really what surprises us is the tail of the Thresher shark because they have such a long tail that measures about 10 ft (3 m) in length upon reaching maturity. Its long tails are actually a modified upper caudal fin that is useful as they are used as a weapon to stun prey, especially sardines.
They use their long tails to swat against the sardines from shoals which require less energy to hunt, also an efficient way of hunting while the prey did not expect that to happen. Surprisingly, Its tail slaps can be as much as 50mph in speed.
The leopard whipray is a marine animal belonging to the stingray in the Genus Himantura and Family Dasyatidae and is found in Indian Oceans and Pacific Oceans, the Andaman Sea.
They have a thin, whip-like long tail with a serrated stinging spine located above the disc and without any fin folds. At the tails, we can’t see any denticles.
A whiptail stingray is a species of rays that belongs to Family Dasyatidae and Order Myliobatiformes and is found in Africa, Asia, and Australia.
They have long tails that are primarily used for defense as it is equipped with tail sting in them. Its tails along with their vestigial caudal fin folds used for steering through the waters and to balance.
Read More : Animals With Amazing Claws!
Why do animals have long tails?
Animals have long tails for many reasons and functions. For instance, New World monkeys and opossums have prehensile tails for grabbing, holding objects, hanging, or climbing. Arboreal animals have long tails for balancing and climbing trees. Kangaroos, cattle have long tails for swatting the annoying insects that sit on their back.
Dogs and cats have long tails for balancing while running and communicating with other animals. Spider monkeys, and Kangaroos use their long tail as a fifth limb.
What monkey has the longest tail?
A Mankey called the long-tailed macaque, also known as crab-eating macaque, has a long tail about 70 cm in length, longer than their own body-head to length. Its tail is dark grey or dark brown in color and is used for balance, especially while jumping about 16 feet long its tails are very helpful.