Tails offer various benefits to animals, from helping them steer and swatting away flies to acting as a blanket. Different species have different tails of varying shapes, including animals with bushy tails. While the fluffiness of their tails is a cute attribute, sometimes they also support different survival reasons.
This article lists 12 animals with bushy tails. Let’s learn more about where they are from and how they use their tails!
12 animals with bushy tails
Here is a list of 12 animals with bushy tails and where they are from. Enjoy!
1. Red fox
Scientific name: Vulpes vulpes
The solitary and nocturnal red fox is another animal with bushy tails. They also have large pointed ears, slender legs, and long muzzles. Despite their name, these foxes can also be black or dark silver.
Red foxes use their tails to help them balance and to cover themselves when they are warm. They also use it to communicate with each other, as it can act as a signal flag for different situations.
2. Bushy-tailed mongoose
Scientific name: Bdeogale crassicauda
The bushy-tailed mongoose has a wide, bushy 9.1-inch tail that they use to help them keep balance. They are yellowish-brown to greyish, with a rounded head and short ears. These animals are native to lowland forests in eastern Africa.
While some people think they are rodents, mongooses are actually closer related to meerkats. They are well-known for being able to fight and eat poisonous snakes.
3. Ring-tailed lemur
Scientific name: Lemur catta
The ring-tailed lemur is native to southwestern Madagascar and has distinctive bushy tails with black and white bands. Their bodies are grey and their white faces have dark eye patches.
One interesting way that ring-tailed lemurs use their tails is during traveling. When on the move in groups, they will lift their tails up in the air to keep everyone together. They also use their tails for balance and communication.
4. Red panda
Scientific name: Ailurus fulgens
The red panda’s fluffy long tail helps them balance and stay warm. These animals live in forests in tall mountain habitats, such as the Himalayas, where they commonly walk on trees and rock ledges. They don’t hibernate, so their bushy tails also protect them from the cold during winter.
These animals have reddish-brown fur and their tails are striped with darker rings. While they don’t look like the black and white pandas, they do enjoy eating bamboo!
5. Bushy-tailed woodrat
Scientific name: Neotoma cinerea
Also known as packrats, the bushy-tailed woodrat is a rodent native to Canada and the United States. They have large ears and long, flattened, bushy tails that they use for balance when jumping or climbing.
These animals love shiny objects and will drop whatever they are holding to go after a shiny spoon or coin. They can also survive without drinking since they get all their water from the food they eat.
6. Giant anteater
Scientific name: Myrmecophaga tridactyla
The giant anteater has long snouts, tongues, and fore-claws. These animals are the largest of all anteater species, growing 6 to 49 inches long, with tails that are 7 to 35 inches. They often use their bushy tails to shade them from the sun or as a blanket to keep them warm.
While they have no teeth, the giant anteater uses their long tongues to eat ants and termites. You can find them throughout Central and South America in savannas, dry forests, and open grasslands.
7. Long-tailed chinchilla
Scientific name: Chinchilla lanigera
The long-tailed chinchilla has long 9 to 14-inch bodies and 3 to 6-inch bushy tails. They are acrobatic animals that use their tails for hopping, jumping, and running.
You can only find these animals in the Andes Mountains of Chile. They are social and live in colonies and can be aggressive with one another, commonly growling and chattering their teeth.
Scientific name: Canis latrans
Coyotes are a canine species native to North America. However, they have different behaviors than most dogs. For instance, they don’t wag their tails to communicate or run with their tails up. Uniquely, these animals also have scent glands on their tails that help them when hunting.
They are very adaptable and aren’t picky eaters, able to feed on beans, fruit, flowers, rodents, snakes, rabbits, and more. Coyotes also have a unique way to communicate with each other… they sing!
Scientific name: Procyon lotor
Raccoons are known for the black “mask” they have on their faces and for digging through trash cans. They are omnivores and can eat almost anything. Raccoons are often found wandering in urban habitats. Interestingly enough, they sometimes wash their food before eating it.
These grayish North American animals have bushy tails with black rings around them. Their tail coloring helps them with camouflage when they are in trees.
10. Striped skunk
Scientific name: Mephitis mephitis
The striped skunk has long black fur and white stripes down their back. Their bushy tails also have a few white hairs at the end. Like all skunks, you have to watch out for their noxious spray smelling like rotten eggs. The glands that produce this spray are located underneath their tails.
These animals grow 1.5 to 2.6 feet long and can be found throughout North America, including wandering around small towns and suburbs.
11. Persian cat
Scientific name: Felis catus
Many cat species have fluffy tails, including the Persian cat. These flat-faced cats have full, coarse, and long tails. They are popular pets and range in color from reddish-brown and cream to black and grey to pure white.
Besides helping them balance, their tails also help them communicate. When their tails are straight up they are being friendly. If it’s curved at the tip, they are relaxed. Puffed-up tails mean they are showing dominance.
12. Tufted ground squirrel
Scientific name: Rheithrosciurus macrotis
Many squirrels have bushy tails. However, the tufted ground squirrel has the fluffiest tail compared to their body size of all mammals. Their tails are 30% larger than their body volume. It helps them appear to be bigger animals and can confuse predators trying to grasp them.
These squirrels are also referred to as the “vampire” squirrel since they enjoy drinking the blood of other animals. You can find them in the Bornean forests.