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Why do animals have a tail?

All vertebrates, except man, have a tail. According to scientists, there was a time when man also had a tail. But, when he stopped using it, it fell into disuse and became extinct. We still have a mark of a tail on our body. Do you know, what is the usefulness of a tail in different animals? The tail is found in the post anal part of the body. It has different uses in different animals. In fishes it is surrounded by a tail fin and plays an important part in providing forward thrust. They have different types of tails. These help them in swimming and providing the upward movement. In crocodiles and whales, the tail acts as a powerful organ for locomotion. In frogs and toads, the tail and tail fin are present only in the larval states and absent in the adult. Crocodiles use their tails for defence and also to attack their enemies. The male peacock shows off its bright tail feathers to attract a mate. All reptiles possess a well-developed tail. The length of these tails is different in different reptiles. Tortoises and turtles have short tails, while lizards have long ones. When a lizard is attacked, it can shed a part of its tail. This is a defence mechanism. Reptiles perform wriggling movements with the help of their tails. Lizards can regenerate a new tail. In chameleon, the tail is quite long. It can be rolled downwards to coil round the branches for extra grip. The tail of snake is small in size and it acts as a storehouse of fats. The tail of the sea snake is small in size and oar-shaped, and helps it in swimming. The tail in birds is extremely short and stumpy. It gives a support for the feathers, which help birds in flying. Most mammals have well developed tails. They use the tail to get rid of flies. Men and apes do not have such tails. Whales have two lobes of tail fin of which, one is at right and one on the left. The tail fins help it in swimming. The tails of kangaroos and squirrels act as a balancing organ, when they walk and leap. During winter season, when squirrels hibernate, the hairy tail acts as a blanket. Rabbits use their tails for providing warning signals. Peacocks display their tails to attract the opposite sex. In this way we see that different vertebrates make use of their tails for some purpose or the other.

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