16 Animals With Big Tails

Animals With Big Tails
Photo by Lisa H on Unsplash

The animal realm is full of creatures with tails, which provide several advantages for their owners.

They can serve as an additional appendage, draw potential partners, or enhance equilibrium.

Animals with big tails are common and can be found on land and in the sea, regardless of their purpose. 

Our article will list animals with big tails and estimate the length of each tail.

While the appendages are remarkable, the animals do not simply have them for aesthetic or distinctive purposes.

All of these creatures’ tails are essential to their existence. Want to know more about these creatures? 

Now, let’s look at it!

1. Giraffe

Giraffe - Animals With Long Necks
by Ray in Manila is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Giraffes are starting our list of animals with big tails. They are the tallest land animals on Earth and are enormous hoofed mammals, which is nothing new to people. 

With tails that may reach up to one meter in length, the tallest animals in the animal kingdom are the skyscrapers! 

The narrow tails have long black tufts of hair at the tip and are patchy with brown and sand-colored areas.

The giraffes use their tails, which double as built-in fly swatters, to shield themselves from bothersome flies and insects that attempt to bite them. 

Though essential to their existence, giraffes’ tails also contribute to their extinction, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In certain societies, tails are considered prestige insignia, especially for men in marriage. 

2. Angola Colobus

Angola Colobus 
by poplinre is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Angola colobus is an Old World Monkey species that is black and white in color. The monkeys’ tails are long and thin, reaching 75 centimeters.

Some of these animals with big tails have black tips, while others have white ones; nonetheless, all tips are typically white.  

Primates tend to favor deep woodlands and frequently perch atop trees. And their lengthy tails are useful for that.

Even while they might not be prehensile like most primates, they serve as balancing aids that enable the monkeys to climb and move among the trees like terrestrial walking. 

3. Long-tailed Grass Lizard

Long-tailed Grass Lizard 
by User:Bando26 (wp:en) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Long-tailed Grass Lizard, also known as the Asian grass lizard, is a distinctive daytime diurnal reptile.

Not because it possesses the longest tail of any reptile; the lizard is special. It’s because the appendage has two survival purposes and is prehensile. 

Initially, while navigating through tall grasses, reptiles rely on their tails for stability. In actuality, this explains the lizards’ quickness. 

Second, these animals with big tails employ an odd method of escaping from predators: their tails.

The lizards benefit from the intrinsic weak points in their tails, which typically break off when a predator tries to snatch them. Fortunately, the injured reptile manages to flee.

4. Basilisk Lizard

Basilisk Lizard 
by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Because of its remarkable ability to walk on water, the common basilisk lizard is often called the Jesus Christ lizard.

It usually resides atop trees, but in case of danger, it can plunge into the water and run at a rate of five feet per second. 

The unusual lizard’s long tail, which makes up around 75% of its body, helps it walk on water.

The tail acts as a paddle to help the lizard move forward, while its towering legs use tremendous effort to keep it from sinking.

5. Wolf

Large, predatory dog wolves typically travel in packs. The broad, bushy tails of these animals with big tails remain erect whether the wolves are moving or sleeping.

The main purpose of an animal’s tail is to maintain equilibrium, particularly during hunting. 

Wolves communicate with their tails as well. For instance, junior members of the pack hold theirs between their legs as a symbol of submission, but dominant alpha wolves carry them up.

Wolves also wave their tails to greet others with kindness.

6. Common Thresher Shark

Thresher Shark - Fish With Big Eyes
by kris-mikael.krister is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Common Thresher Sharks, sometimes known as Sea Foxes, can be found in many large bodies of water, including the seas off the shores of Asia and North America.

They rarely venture too far to sea, preferring to stay along the coast.

These animals with big tails are about 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length, although they can reach up to 20 feet (6 meters).

Up to half of their total length comprises their lengthy caudal fin. When they swat sardines from shoals, they utilize their tail fin to whip and stun their prey.

7. Retractile Whiptail Ray

Round in shape, retractile whiptail rays feature long, thin tails that are barbed-tipped. Approximately sixty-nine species of whiptail rays exist. 

Their tail can reach three times its body length and is largely covered with sawtooth edges, which they utilize to ward off predators. It helps guide them as well.

These marine animals with big tails prefer to graze on prawns, fish, sea jellyfish, crabs, and small invertebrates.

They are bottom feeders. They linger in the waters of French Polynesia and the Indo-Pacific region.

8. Eastern Glass Lizard

Eastern Glass Lizard
by pondhawk is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Eastern Glass Lizard resembles a snake species, although it is a lizard because it doesn’t have legs. How long they are 18–43 inches or 46–109 cm.

They vary from snakes in a few ways, including that their jaws cannot expand as widely as a snake’s, and they have adjustable eyelids.

The southeastern part of the United States is home to these sly critters. Wetlands near the coast are home to eastern glass lizards. From pale brown to yellowish-green, they are. 

These animals with big tails have an interesting feature: they can tear off parts of their tail and grow them back over time. They use their tail to guide them and to ward off predators.

9. Sakishima Grass Lizard

The vivid lime green Sakishima Grass Lizard is next on our list of animals with big tails. It is a natural species of Japan that is in danger of extinction. 

They live in open woodlands and grasslands. Their tail is about twice as long as their body, and they have long, slender, bright green bodies. 

They have light to pale greenish-white undersides. Their maximum length is 12 inches (30.4 cm) when the tail is included. As such an uncommon species, little is known about their behaviors in the wild.

10. Common Green Iguana

Common Green Iguana
by brian.gratwicke is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A long-lived lizard native to Central and South America is the green iguana. They live under the trees in the forest.

They arrived in the United States and are now found in southern Florida and the Hawaiian islands.

Bright to dark greenish-gray in color, green iguanas have brown undertones. Their tails taper down towards the tip from a thick base.

The design on the tail alternates between bright greenish-gray and dark brown tones. They have a maximum body length of 6.5 feet (2 meters).

In addition to being a navigation aid, iguanas use their tails to ward off predators. A predator can rip off an iguana’s tail and make their getaway possible if they can catch it. 

Approximately half of an iguana’s body length comprises its tail. Although they are a common pet, these animals with big tails require much maintenance.

They have a 20-year lifespan in the wild. They consume a wide range of fruits, leaves, and plants.

11. Spider Monkey

Spider Monkey 
by goingslo is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The spider monkey is a slim animal with a long tail and limbs. Their tail may grow up to 34 inches, while their body can reach up to 21 inches. 

The spider monkey’s tail can easily sustain its full body weight because of its remarkable dexterity. Their tails can even be used to pick things up! 

Spider monkeys have a 40-year lifespan and eat a diet rich in nuts, fruits, flowers, insects, and spiders. They are indigenous to South and Central America’s tropical rain forests.

12. Red Kangaroo

Red Kangaroo 
by Marie Hale is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The giant red kangaroo stands over five feet tall, can weigh up to 200 pounds, and has a tail that is nearly three feet long.

The long tail of the red kangaroo was formerly believed to be used for stability and balance when walking.

Recent studies have shown that the kangaroo uses its tail as an additional leg to help it move forward.

The life expectancy of the red kangaroo, which is thought to be the largest species of kangaroo in the wild, is approximately eight years.

13. Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed Lemur
by tom-oneill is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This mammal is called the ring-tailed lemur, with thirteen alternate bands of black and white on its tail.

They are indigenous to the southwest of Madagascar and have long tails reaching around two feet.

Leaf, bugs, flowers, herbs, fruit, and even small vertebrates are among the foods eaten by animals with big tails.

Ring-tailed lemurs have an intriguing characteristic: they travel in groups and use their long tails as a flag to keep the group members together.

14. Howler Monkey

Howler Monkey 
by brian.gratwicke is licensed under CC BY 2.0

With a tail that can grow up to 26 inches long, the howler monkey is a herbivore that lives in trees.

They use their lengthy tail like an extra appendage, grabbing or clinging from tree branches.

They eat plants you would find in trees because they spend most of their time in them, like leaves, vines, fruits, and flowers.

The animal’s wide throat and booming voice with big tails indicate its name. Their “howl” can be heard up to three kilometers away through the thick forest since it is that loud.

15. Ribbon-tailed Astrapia

Ribbon-tailed Astrapia
by gailhampshire is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The ribbon-tailed astrapia is a species of bird of paradise that dwells in subalpine and higher montane forests. Their tails can reach a maximum length of 12 inches, three times their bodies’ length.

Although these long tails are visually appealing and aid in attracting potential mates, they can also be a nuisance.

According to the Bird Academy, the male ribbon-tailed Australia must frequently untangle their tails before they can take flight.

16. Tree Kangaroo

Tree Kangaroo
by David Lochlin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tree kangaroos are ending our list of animals with big tails that can grow up to 32 inches overall, including their head and body, and up to 36 inches in length for their tail.

The marsupial’s long tail aids in its equilibrium and enables it to navigate through the trees safely.

Native to tropical rainforests in Indonesia, New Guinea, and even the northern regions of Australia, the tree kangaroo is a species of great diversity.

Unfortunately, poaching and deforestation are contributing to the decline of their species.


There are many animals with big tails; others have tails that are so long that they make up more than half of the total size of the species.

Not only are long tails attractive. For species that possess them, tails are extremely helpful tools. 

We look at many animals with big tails in our article. You could write a thousand words on it, but we’ve tried to cover nearly every use for a tail in animals that have them by including a variety of animals in our comprehensive list.

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