Long-Tailed Animals

Most animals have tails, but there are birds and animals with long and sometimes magnificent tails which have evolved to play some function in their life. Here is the list of some long tail owners.

Ring-Tailed Lemur
The Ring-tailed lemur is a large primate and the most recognized lemur due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It is native to the island of Madagascar and is known locally in Malagasy as maky (spelled maki in French) or hira. The Ring-tailed lemur's trademark - a long, bushy tail - has 12 or 13 white rings and 13 or 14 black rings, and always ending in a black tip. Its tail is longer than its body and is not prehensile. Instead, it is ...
only used for balance, communication, and group cohesion.
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Long-Tailed Widowbird
The Long-tailed widowbirds are widespread African birds. Males are known for their extremely long tails, which contain twelve tail feathers. Between six and eight of their twelve tail feathers are approximately half a meter (approximately 20 inches) long. When flying, the males are readily visible due to their impressive tails which also play an important role during courtship. The tail during flight display is expanded vertically into a deep, ...
long keel below the male as he flies with slow wingbeats 0.5 to 2 meters (20 to 78 inches) above his territory. It is suggested that female Long-tailed widowbirds prefer males with longer tails and brightly colored epaulets.
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Spider Monkey
Spider monkeys are found in tropical forests of Central and South America. Their disproportionately long limbs and prehensile tails make them one of the largest New World monkeys and give rise to their common name. Their tails may be up to 89 cm (35 in) long, have very flexible, hairless tips and skin grooves similar to fingerprints. This adaptation to their strictly arboreal lifestyle serves as a fifth hand. Spider monkeys do not use their arms ...
for balance when walking, instead relying on their tails. They are highly agile, and they are said to be second only to the gibbons in this respect. They have been seen in the wild jumping from tree to tree.
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Red Kangaroo
The Red kangaroo is the largest of all kangaroos. It is the largest terrestrial mammal native to Australia, and the largest extant marsupial. Red kangaroos have a strong tail which is often used to create a tripod when standing upright. Australians call the males of this species "Big Reds" as they grow up to a head-and-body length of 1.3-1.6 m (4.35.2 ft) and their tail adds a further 1.2 m (3.9 ft) to the total length. The tail of Red kangaroos ...
is not only very long but also very strong and is often used to create a tripod when an animal stands upright. Young males often engage in ritualized fighting known as boxing. They usually stand up on their hind limbs and attempt to push their opponent off balance by jabbing him or locking forearms. If the fight escalates, kangaroos will begin to kick each other. Using their strong tail to support their weight, they deliver kicks with their powerful hind legs.
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Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent quetzals are well known for their soft colorful plumage. Depending on the light, their feathers can shine in a variant of colors including green, cobalt, lime, yellow, to ultramarine. The long tail streamers of these birds can measure up to 100.5 cm (39.6 in) in length. Their green upper tail coverts hide their tails and in breeding males are particularly splendid, being longer than the rest of the body. Though quetzal plumages ...
appear green, they are actually brown due to the melanin pigment. Their iridescent feathers, which causes them to appear shiny and green like the canopy leaves, are actually a camouflage adaptation to hide within the canopy during rainy weather. Another interesting fact about the long tails of these beautiful birds is that when quetzals incubate their eggs, they look like a bunch of fern growing out of the nest hole as their long tail-covert feathers are folded forwards over the back and out of the hole.
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Black Wildebeest
Black wildebeest are well-known for their white long tail that is similar to that of a horse. Its bright-white color gives these animals the vernacular name of "white-tailed gnu", and also distinguishes them from the Blue wildebeest, which has a black tail. The length of their tail typically ranges from 80 to 100 cm (31 to 39 in). The Black wildebeest is depicted on the coat of arms of the Province of Natal in South Africa. Though they are not ...
present in their natural habitat in such large numbers today, Black wildebeest were at one time the main herbivores in the ecosystem and the main prey item for large predators such as the lion. Now, they are economically important for human beings, as they are a major tourist attraction, as well as providing animal products such as leather and meat. The silky, flowing tail of these antelope is used to make fly-whisks (tools that are used to swat flies) or chowries (hand fans in hot tropical climates, sometimes as part of regalia).
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Indian Giant Squirrel
The Indian giant squirrel is one of the largest squirrels with a head–and–body length of 25–50 cm (10 in–1 ft 8 in), and a tail that is about the same or somewhat longer. It is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and nests at height of 11 m (36 ft) in order to avoid predators. It travels from tree to tree with jumps of up to 6 m (20 ft) and when in danger, it often freezes or flattens itself against the tree trunk, instead ...
of fleeing.
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Turquoise-Browed Motmot
The Turquoise-browed motmot is a colorful bird whose name originates from the turquoise color of its brow. It is the national bird of both El Salvador and Nicaragua. Turquoise-browed motmots have a long tail and the tips of the tail feathers are shaped like rackets. It is often said that motmots pluck the barbs off their tail to create the racketed shape which is not true; the barbs are weakly attached and fall off due to abrasion with ...
substrates and with routine preening. Both the males and the females of this species have the extraordinary racketed tail and it has evolved to function differently for the sexes. Males use their tails during courtship, as males with longer tails have greater pairing success. In addition to this function, the tail is also used by both sexes in a wag display, where the tail is moved back-and-forth in a pendulous fashion and plays an important role in communication between the motmots.
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South American Coati
South American coatis are diurnal mammals with very long, non-prehensile tails used for balance and signaling. They often hold their tail erect and use it to keep troops of coatis together in tall vegetation. Interestingly, the tip of their tail can be moved slightly on its own, as is the case with cats, but it is not adapted to grasp or hold objects.
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Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo
Greater racket-tailed drongos are Asian birds that are readily recognized by the elongated outer tail feathers with webbing restricted to the tips. In flight the tail with twirled rackets can appear as if two large bees were chasing a blac kbird. In the Mizo language of northeast India, Greater racket-tailed drongos are called Vakul and the Mizo people use their elegant tail feathers in ceremonies.
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Long-Eared Jerboa
Long-eared jerboas are nocturnal mouse-like rodents with a long tail, long hind legs for jumping, and exceptionally large ears. Their disproportionately long tails are double their body size and aid their balance. Jerboas move by crawling or making short hops. They use sound to locate various insects and capture them by performing fast leaps into the air.
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