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Body Parts of Animals

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Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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Introduction

Do you know some interesting facts about animals? Hummingbirds are the only birds that fly backwards. Another one is the coconut crab which has the strongest gripping claws and the last one is Platypus turtles also have beaks but are not birds.


Animals are living organisms just like us and a part of our planet. The body parts of animals include beaks, claws, tails, legs, etc. Animals use these parts to perform multiple actions. They can use these body parts for catching prey, eating food or just for movement. 


Animal Body Parts and Functions

Legs

  • These are very important and can vary in great numbers from one animal to another. Animals like dogs, zebras, lions etc., have 4 legs whereas spiders have 8 and some insects have 6. 

  • The leg strength varies a lot among various animals. Cheetahs use their legs to run very fast at about 80-128 km/h. Whereas, the legs of elephants are extremely heavy and are used to crush branches and stems as they eat them. 

  • The insect legs often have small hairy structures which allow them to walk upright on walls or any vertical surface. You must have seen spiders on ceilings and ants walking in a line on walls.


Legs of animals


Legs of Animals


Tails

  • These are long muscular parts in many animals that arise from the rear part of the body, mostly the lower back. 

  • Tails are used by land animals for balance while walking and running. They also use it to brush off flies or insects that bite them. Tails in monkeys are used to move from one tree to another and also maintain balance while jumping. 

  • In many cases, animals have detaching tails such as lizards. It helps them to escape from the predators, when the predator gets hold of them, their tails break and allows them to escape the grasp of their predators. Some animals have sharp quills that can cause serious injury to their predators and thus can save themselves.

  • Some animals like rattlesnakes have tails that can make a distinct sound and keep their predators away or distract them while they escape.


Types of tails in animals


Types of Tails in Animals


Claws

  • Claws in animals are of immense variety among various animals. They have many uses depending on animals such as catching prey, climbing, and self-defense. 

  • Carnivorous animals use their claws to injure their prey and slow them down to bite and kill for them to consume. They have a special type of claw that has retractable nails, i.e. the nails hide under their paws when not needed and that allows them to stay sharp and strong and not get damaged unnecessarily. 

  • Animals like monkeys and lizards use claws to grip the surfaces they are climbing on. These claws are just like the nails that we humans have but a lot sharper and pointed allowing them to attach to tree trunks or walls.  

  • Claws can be a useful tool for digging soil. Animals like Armadillo dig soil to find insects and fruits inside the soil. Various reptiles dig up soil to lay eggs and incubate them for them to hatch. 

  • The right claws as seen in other animals are absent among humans as they are not needed for movement. The presence of hands that can grip anything and legs that can firmly place them on the ground allows them to move freely.


Claws


Claws


Beak

  • Beaks are a special mouth adaptation mostly in birds. These are of many types based on the needs of that bird. 

  • Eagles, Hawks, and Owls generally have a hook-shaped beak that allows them to tear flesh as they are meat-eating birds. The hook acts like the canines in carnivorous animals. 

  • Birds like canaries and sparrows have cone-shaped beaks that are useful in breaking seeds and nuts and eating their contents. 

  • Then there are short and curved beaks which are commonly seen among parrots and macaws as they allow them to rip apart hard fruits and nuts. 

  • Long and narrow beaks are also seen among some birds that drink nectar from flowers and juices from fruits, it also allows them to eat insects from the gaps and holes in tree trunks and flowers. e.g. Hummingbird, Robin.

  • There are also birds with large and heavy beaks such as pelicans and seagulls that eat fish from the sea. Their wide and strong beaks allow them to capture fish in them and not let them escape. 


Different types of beaks seen in birds

Different Types of Beaks Seen in Birds


External Parts of the Body

  • The external body parts of animals include the eyes, nose, mouth, legs, and tail. 

  • These parts of the body are used as sense organs by the animals and thus are of high importance. 

  • Most animals have a very wide vision to look out for predators in the wild. 

  • They also showcase a very keen sense of smell allowing them to find food. 


Summary

Animal body parts are of specific use against specific functions. External organs of importance change from animal to animal. Claws are an important feature in most animals. Beaks are very specific to birds and tail length varies for every other animal.

FAQs on Body Parts of Animals

1. Why do monkeys need tails? 

Monkeys have a long muscular tail which is a characteristic feature. They mainly use their tails to balance themselves while jumping and moving from one tree branch to another.


Their tails can also grab branches and help them reach fruits on long branches and also pluck them. 


The tails also can withstand their entire body weight and can hang themselves from a branch. 

2. What are the various functions of beaks? 

Beaks are a special mouth adaptation mostly seen in birds. These are of many types based on the needs of that bird.


The functions of beaks include tearing flesh, breaking seeds, ripping tough fruits, sucking nectar, and picking insects.


Hawks and eagles show the hooked beak used for flesh-tearing, Parrots have the curved beak to tear tough fruits, and Woodpecker has the cone beak the break nuts.