The Fantastic Tails of Dinosaurs
Clubbed Tail of the Euoplocephalus
Dinosaurs lived long to tell tails
Tails were an important part of a dinosaur, especially for battle and survival. Whether the tails were whip-like, spiked, clubbed, muscular or stiff, the dinosaurs used their amazing tails as weapons, balancing poles or rudders.
Many herbivorous dinosaurs used their tails to protect themselves against wild carnivores. However, carnivores did not require their tails to defend themselves. Instead they used their tails to balance themselves when running.
I will write some examples of particular tails and an example of a dinosaur which had possessed such tail. It won't be a long tale I promise you.
1. Spiked Tail: One example would be the Stegasaurus which had a spiked tail. Near the tip of the tail were two pairs of spikes.These were large bony tails and had very sharp points. The Stegasaurus used it as a weapon to defend itself against the big fierce predators. If the Stegasaurus did encounter a predator, it would swing its tail very harshly and the spikes would cut deeply into the flesh of the predator.
2. Stiffened Tail: This title of honor can go to the Deinonychus dinosaur. This dinosaur was a gruesome carnivore. Basically it did not need to fight with its stiffened tail. Instead it used its large, terrible, curved claws on its feet to attack. The Deinonychus used its tail to help it maintain its balance. When it ran, the stiffened tail held stiff and straight behind it. There were rods of bone in the tail to keep the tail stiff. Some experts believe that the Deinonychus used its stiff tail like a rudder to steer round obstacles in its path when it was running flat out.
3. Muscular Tail: The Iguanodon was famous for its muscular tail. Basically this dinosaur had no clubs or spikes on its tail to defend itself. The only means of defense it had were its two lethal thumb spikes which it used as a weapon. The muscular tail was 4 meters long and was used to help it maintain its balance when it reared up and walked on two legs. The muscular tail was very tough, and scientists think that the Iguanodon rested back on its tail quite often, just like the kangaroos do today.
4. Clubbed Tail: The Euoplocephalus dinosaur was renowned to have a big club at the end of its tail, and it was made of complete bone. It used the powerful muscles in its clubbed tail to swing the heavy club at fierce meat-eating dinosaurs, especially when it was threatened. The boned club could even break the leg of a dinosaur. These clubs were known to grow to a meter wide according to experts. If the Euoplocephalus still existed today, it would have been very dangerous because it would have bulldozed anything in its path.
5. Whiplash Tail: The Diplodocus dinosaur had a long whiplash tail. The biggest dinosaurs were not safe from an attack even if there was a battle with the Diplodocus. This dinosaur was massive, and had to use its tail, which was as long as the rest of its body, as a whip to lash out at carnivores such as the Ceratosaurus, for example. A good aimed blow from one of these tails must have delivered a fierce lash to a predator. The whiplash tail of this dinosaur also helped it to maintain balance when it reared up on its hind legs to feed on leaves in the high treetops. The tail, which got thin towards its end, had around 70 - 73 bones in it.
The Tyrannosaurus rex was the 'King of the Reptiles' and was a fearless dinosaur. It attacked any dinosaur it encountered without hesitation. However, no complete fossils of its tail has been found and scientists are still unsure how long its tail was. But many do think that the tail was so long that it dragged itself on the ground when it walked.
More by this Author
Facts on the herbivorous Protoceratops, a ceratopian of the cretaceous period.
Ceratopians were the ancient forms of a rhino. They can also charge and attack like a rhino. They lived in the Cretaceous period 100 - 66 million years ago. Read more about them.
The little robin redbreast is a beautiful Eurasian songbird very well known for its orange-red breast and brown back. Read on...