Why do horses have full tails?

millikins

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7 March 2011
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As title really. I have just been musing and can't think of another grazing animal that has a full tail, even the other equines get by with a just a tuft at the end. So what is the evolutionary purpose of a full tail?
 

Zuzan

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6 March 2011
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I think one difference is that horses are not ruminants and only have a simple stomach and therefore not the greatest utilisers of grazing and a full tail is warmer .. they evolved on the Steppe which can be absolutely baltic with howling winds .. the top of their tails is an draft excluder .. also their evolutionary path is very different from ruminants so it maybe that ruminants on the steppes will evolve to have full tails too...
 

Nasicus

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Considering how everything that comes out the back end of a cow is copious and liquid in nature, could you imagine how RANK a full tail would be on a cow? It would be one big, poopy, festering dreadlock in no time, and I'd hate to imagine the effects of that on the skin underneath! It's bad enough when a horse has a runny tummy, blergh!
 

Regandal

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I'd go with the weather protection idea too. But then there's bison etc. You would think that they would have evolved to have one too. Of course, they could be mere babes in evolutionary terms.
 
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