Following the answer to my question about an Anatomically correct Quetzalcoatl, is problematic have gravity center positioned so far behind the wings.So in the case of a creature with a snake-like tail this could impide the flying or at least a good gliding. But currently were many animals that were flying and had long tails like the Rhamphorhynchoidea pterosaurus or the maniraptorians previous to the birds, but what happen with this, well then eventually the natural selection favors specimens with a short tail and other ways to get a rudder.

So for keep the tail the benefit of have this should be better than lose the tail and that is the principal problem.

I thought some possible solutions based on keep the tail funtional, for that, but I am not sure about the physics and biomechanics

  1. Probably can not be an active flying, so a long gliding will be the only one option, so would be good a displacement of many houndreds of meters.
  2. When winding it could use the flexible part of its body to propel itself like a spring, strong enough to propel itself some tens of meters maybe 15-20, then it could use its wings, which although inefficient, enough to get a little more height and then the gliding.
  3. Should not be heavy as other animals of the same length, compared with a python or anaconda 150-250 kg for 5 meters, so probably need hollow bones (complicating even more the evolutionary ancestry of this creature but topic for another question).

So, I am gonna let the previous image from the Quetzalcoatl question to show what I mean with winged snake like form.

I would like to make a redesign considering more the tail, that is the reason i have sectioned the original question.

And finally, yes, I have considered somethign like the flying snake like the next, but again I am not sure if this really would work.

Maybe my idea of a spring like throwing is completely useless or physically impossible, so maybe you can think other alternatives.

So, how the long and flexible tail can be keep useful at flying animals?

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    $\begingroup$ Ever seen a video of a sprinting cheetah? They use their tail for balance and probably some steering, too. Or make it a secondary "weapon", used to sweep feet from under their prey/enemy. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Dec 7, 2020 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Erik. A weapon for sweep while is flying is a very interesting proposition but, maybe the wings will have problem to carry it, so anyways would be like a marine bird hunting, sweeping the water surface to trap fishes. $\endgroup$
    – Drakio-X
    Dec 7, 2020 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ Na, I was thinking of ground "combat"/hunt, sorry. $\endgroup$
    – Erik
    Dec 7, 2020 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thats interesting for other questions. $\endgroup$
    – Drakio-X
    Dec 7, 2020 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


I made a little 3D animation for you:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ not related but quite nice, thank you very much $\endgroup$
    – Drakio-X
    Dec 10, 2020 at 1:50

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