We all have in mind the peacock’s tail as a paradigmatic example of exaggeration when it comes to conquering the opposite sex: really the thing is an aesthetic burden that only serves to have more reproductive success (which, ironically, does nothing more than propagate this trend). In addition to attracting females, it also serves, at least, to protect its territory from possible predators.
But among mammals there are also creatures with extremely large and showy tails. Next, the most voluminous tail identified in a mammal .
Tufted ground squirrel
The tufted ground squirrel ( Rheithrosciurus macrotis ) is native to the island of Borneo. Its extraordinarily fluffy tail is 30 percent larger than its body , making it the mammal with the largest tail in proportion to its body.
The purpose of this fluffy appendix is unclear. However, researchers suspect that it may make the squirrel appear larger and therefore more threatening to its predators.
There are also reports (not scientifically confirmed) from local hunters claiming that these squirrels attack chickens and even deer . Thus, since some local histories report that the Rheithrosciurus sometimes attacks larger animals, gutting them, it is nicknamed the "Vampire Squirrel".
As far as tails are concerned, the closest contenders, whose tails are simply as bulky as their own bodies, are the Common Striped Possum , which has a prehensile tail for climbing; the gliding squirrel , which sails with its tail as a rudder; and the ring-tailed cat , which uses its tail for balance during tree stunts.