Learn about other animals that have trunks and how they use them to survive.

Animals that have trunks

Having the ability to smell, grab, communicate and eat all with one appendage is very impressive. A trunk is an appendage that starts from the face that can be either large or small. The trunk is a flexible muscle that has multiple uses for survival. An animal's trunk can come in sizes ranging from long to short. African Elephant trunks are powerful and have many capabilities and are oftentimes the first animal that comes to mind when we think of trunks. African Elephant trunks can be used to grab and store food, snorkel, communicate and smell. Other animals have trunks that are used for similar purposes. Our team wants to share with you other animals that have trunks and ways you can donate today to support the elephants.


Tapirs look similar to pigs but are considered to be related to rhinos and horses. They have short trunks that extend from the nose and are a part of their upper lip. They use their trunks to smell and stay away from danger and predators.

Saiga antelopes

Their trunk is an extension of their nose and is smaller in comparison to other animals' trunks. Males use their trunks to roar, which attracts a mate. The larger the antelope the louder the roar. Communication is the main reason for the trunk and warning others of danger or predators.

Giant anteaters

Trunks on giant anteaters differ from elephants and other animals. Mainly because it has nostrils and a mouth at the end. The only purpose their trunk has is to aid in eating since they don’t have teeth. They do this by sucking termites and ants from the ground with their tongue.

Wild boars

Their short trunk looks similar to a pig snout or nose. Having a trunk gives them a good sense of smell which allows these animals to smell out potential predators. 

Elephant seals

There are northern and southern elephant seals, male southern elephant seals are the only ones that have trunks. They use their trunks to roar and scare other males away, communicate to others indicating danger, inflate them and use their trunks in fights as a way to slap other seals.


Their trunk is an extension of their nose and is solely used for breathing and smelling. A unique feature of an aardvark’s trunk is it can block dust and insects from entering when digging tunnels in the ground.

Proboscis monkeys

Their trunks can be used in multiple ways, males will inflate their trunks to attract a mate. Another way they use them is when expressing anger. Communication is a large part of the use of their trunks, they make loud noises when they sense danger is near. Their short trunk can also be used as a snorkel since these monkeys are good swimmers.

Donate today to support the elephants!

Contributing to elephant care and research has never been easier! By joining ‘Herd of Heros’, you’re able to make a monthly donation to help make an impact on elephants in zoos. Join down below today!

related articles