One of the most distinguishable and unique features of the elephant is the trunk. However, many people tend to have the misconception that it is where elephants drink water.
That is why we want to share with you some knowledge on why do elephants have trunks and some cool elephant trunk facts.
The anatomy of the elephant trunk
The trunk of an elephant is the nose and upper lip. It has two nostrils that run through the whole trunk. Scientists found that elephants have over 2,000 genes coding for olfactory receptors. That means that they have some of the best noses of most mammals.
Elephant trunks are made up of muscles - 40,000 muscles. That is more muscles than a human's 650. With all those muscles, an elephant's trunk is able to lift heavy weight. It is recorded that an adult elephant lifts as much as 700 pounds.
One of the important elephant trunk facts is that there are no bones in the trunk. That means that elephants have the flexibility to move their trunk in whatever direction they need to.
Another way they are able to lift using their trunk is with the fingers on the tip of their trunk. African elephants have two fingers, while Asian elephants only have one. These fingers give elephants the ability to pick up and hold items, just like the fingers in your hand give you the ability to grip on objects.
Why do elephants have trunks?
To smell of course! Elephants have a keen sense of smell. They use their trunks to find food and water. Yes, you read that right. Elephants are able to smell water that is up to 12 miles away. This ability comes in handing during the drought season.
Aside from food, elephants are also able to smell others. They use their sense of smell to find their offspring, mates and other family members. When it comes to avoiding danger, elephants can also smell predators and dangers like land mines.
It is no secret that elephants like to swim. However, did you know that elephants use their trunks like snorkels? Other elephant trunk facts are that they curve their trunks when the water is too deep in watering holes and lakes. This allows them to breathe while they cool off in the water.
To show affection
Elephants are emotionally intelligent animals. They are able to display and show affection to one another. In fact, elephants use their trunks to show compassion or comfort to another elephant. They typically stroke the head and back of other elephants with their trunks. The baby elephants even have the tendency to suck on their trunks in order to comfort themselves.
Feel their way around
As stated above, elephants use their trunks to grab items but also to guide them. Elephants do not have the best eyesight, so they use their trunks to feel their way through forests. This allows them to use their trunks to rip branches and knock down trees to make paths in the forest.
How to save the elephants
Currently, elephants around the world need your help from being lost forever! For Elephants are conducting research to help improve their conservation. You can contribute to our research with a generous donation or buying our apparel. Donate here.