Curious Kids: Why don't ladybirds have tails?
The Conversation is asking kids to send in questions they'd like an expert to answer. Lotte wants to know why ladybirds don’t have tails. An expert in ladybirds explains.
Let’s start by thinking about animals that do have tails and what they have in common.
Dogs, elephants, cats, birds, monkeys and fish – they all have tails and use them for many different things like balancing, swishing flies away or hanging onto things. And what do all these animals have in common? A backbone!
That’s because a tail is actually an extension of a backbone. (Humans used to have tails! Our early ancestors did but then we changed over time and now only a little stump of a “tailbone” remains.)
So to answer your question, ladybirds do not have tails because they do not have a backbone.