These animals never complain about being the butt of jokes – they put their bizarre back ends to good use
When it comes to nap time, giraffes make use of what they’ve got
Giraffes have pretty normal back ends, but they’ve come up with a novel way of using them. By twisting its neck, a giraffe can use its own bum as a pillow.
The white flash on the bontebok’s bum keeps others in line
Several species of herd animal have markings on their rumps. The bontebok’s flash and its white legs help other herd members to follow the animal in front.
Fitzroy river turtle
Unconventional breathing means this Australian reptile can stay underwater for several weeks
This turtle pumps water in and out of its back end, obtaining about 70 per cent of the oxygen it needs using a special sac in its posterior opening.
Male mandrills show who’s boss with their behinds
Males of this Old World monkey species have vibrant rainbow-coloured buttocks. These impressive colours can signify dominance and make them more visible and attractive to females.
A zebra’s stripy hindquarters keeps pests at bay
It has recently been discovered that zebra stripes disorientate flies. Combined with a tail perfect for swishing, this pattern helps to stop zebras being bugged by insects.
Wombats use their reinforced bums as shields
If a wombat is attacked, the stocky marsupial dives into its burrow and blocks the hole with its rump. Its behind is full of cartilage, so a predator’s teeth won’t do much damage.