Home Resources Reference Material Thereby Hangs A Tail?

Thereby Hangs A Tail?

Thereby Hangs A Tail?

Sanctuary Papers: Dose of  Natural History and Science – When you think of an animal’s tail, you think of round, tube-like structures. But, seahorses have tails made of square skeleton segments hitched together that act as protective cages.

The seahorse's tail boasts of a rare design comprising square segments, unlike the round tails sported by most other animals.
Illustration: Vinay A. Salvi.

Together these squares make stronger and better protected appendages than round ones. The reason is very simple; a square on coming in contact with a surface has more surface area pressed against it. This gives seahorses a better grip.

Each of these square segments is made up of four angular (90 degrees) pieces attached together.

First appeared in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol. XXXV No. 8, August 2015.


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