# Catch It by the Tail

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

# Catch It by the Tail

November 29, 2015

It must be fun to have a tail. You can swing it around, smack things with it, and if you’re a possum, hang from tree branches with it. You can even measure using tails: as Bedtime Math fan Nhya points out, in the Warrior Cat book series they measure cats in tail lengths, which equal 1 foot. But which animals out there have the longest tails? As you would think, big cats have longer tails than housecats, with lions having tails up to 41 inches long — almost 3 1/2 feet. But we can go bigger. A giraffe’s tail looks short and cute on its owner, but can be up to31 inches long, and elephant tails can reach 51 inches — that might be taller than you! Of course, if you think of a worm as one big squiggly tail, the winner is the bootlace worm, the longest animal on earth: it can grow to 180 feet long. No matter how much of that counts as tail, it’s going to be longer than anyone else’s!

Wee ones: Who has the shorter tail, a girl cat with an 8-inch tail or a boy cat with a 12-inch tail?

Little kids: If a 3-foot alligator has a 3-foot tail, how long is the whole animal?  Bonus: If you have a pet giraffe with a 31-inch tail, a lion with a 41-inch tail, and an elephant with a 51-inch tail…what tail length would come next to follow the pattern?

Big kids: If a cat tail length is 12 inches, how long is a Warrior Cat who is 3 tails long?  Bonus: Who is taller, an elephant’s 51-inch tail or you — and by how much? (Reminder: A foot has 12 inches.)

The sky’s the limit: If the bootlace worm can count 160 feet of itself as “tail,” how many times would a possum’s 15-inch tail have to double in length to match that? It works out perfectly…