Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Why are there tails red?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Anatomy] Why are there tails red?

    I consider myself to very knowledgeable when it comes to reptiles and snakes in general. I got asked a million questions the other day that seemed very stupid at the time. One of my best friends was over and it was one of those tough guys who takes a step back when I let the snake out. I said, "are you afraid" he said no "I just don't like them"..ok Then I get asked a slew of questions among them was, does he drink water from that bowl...yes thats why its in there. Then this one gets asked and I did not have a great answer:

    Why is it's tail red?

    I started to think. Caudal luring, evolutionary like zebra stripes, if it were mating and courting why would both sexes have them, ect, ect.

    For the life I me I couldn't think of a good answer. Seems there are no stupid questions in the world just stupid people.

    So what is the answer?

  • #2
    Re: Why are there tails red?

    Ambush predator. Ever notice your boa(s) twitching their tails before or after feeding? Many believe the tail to be a bright color to lure prey and I share that belief. I've noticed with most of my snakes that if I leave their feeding for an extra couple of days they will spend a lot of time in a half circle position, swaying and twitching their tails while keeping their heads in a slightly elevated position. Twice now I have introduced prey near the tails while the snake is in this position and both times have been blown away by the feeding response and the length they can reach out. It also seemed to me that they have much better accuracy striking from a distance. The same snakes that hit the rat dead on in the face and more powerfully than ever before while trying this, have also had many failed and fairly weak strikes when the prey was presented just in front of the face. I know there are other reasons, or theories but can't remember them right now.

    Mat.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Why are there tails red?

      Originally posted by Hunglikeafruitbat View Post
      Ambush predator. Ever notice your boa(s) twitching their tails before or after feeding? Many believe the tail to be a bright color to lure prey and I share that belief. I've noticed with most of my snakes that if I leave their feeding for an extra couple of days they will spend a lot of time in a half circle position, swaying and twitching their tails while keeping their heads in a slightly elevated position. Twice now I have introduced prey near the tails while the snake is in this position and both times have been blown away by the feeding response and the length they can reach out. It also seemed to me that they have much better accuracy striking from a distance. The same snakes that hit the rat dead on in the face and more powerfully than ever before while trying this, have also had many failed and fairly weak strikes when the prey was presented just in front of the face. I know there are other reasons, or theories but can't remember them right now.

      Mat.
      Interesting theory. I've kept and bred several Agkistrodon species (Cotton-mouths, and Copperheads), and both juveniles have a sulfur yellow caudal lure. I never thought of that with Boa constrictor sp.

      Another possible evolutionary explanation would be that many fish and reptiles have brightly colored tails to distract a predator from the more vulnerable head, because an attack to the tail is far more survivable than a head attack. But until a Boa finally speaks up and tells us, we may never know for sure.

      Mark

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Why are there tails red?

        check this post out

        http://www.redtailboas.com/forum/rtb...-red-tail.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why are there tails red?

          I have to agree with your statement

          I started to think. Caudal luring, evolutionary like zebra stripes, if it were mating and courting why would both sexes have them, etc, etc.
          That appears to be the most reasonable and logical answer

          Lar M
          Boas By Klevitz

          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why are there tails red?

            It is probably, lure and distraction from the head. Now days, even in the wild, this is probably not a big factor in feeding. However, it is highly possible that way down on the evolutionary ladder the boa's predecessors used it this way more extensively. What we see now could just be the remnants of it.

            Comment

            Working...
            X