*THE SAFARI NUGGET*
Elephant trunk 🐘 – the most versatile body part in the animal kingdom!
An elephant’s trunk is multiple body parts rolled into one. It’s a combination of upper lip and nose with 2 nostrils running through its length and at the end are 2 opposable “fingers” for grasping small objects.
It doesn’t have any bones so this 160 Kilo appendage must support its own weight and anything it picks up. Elephants Trunk has over 40,000 muscles. Compare that to a human body’s 639 muscles and you get an idea what an intricate build it is.
While the trunk is strong enough to be used as a deadly weapon or to push down big trees and lift objects of over 350 kilos, it’s also dexterous enough to pick a peanut, break its shell without crushing the nut inside. At times elephants even wipe their eyes with their trunks!
It is estimated that an elephant has 4 times stronger sense of smell than a bloodhound! With millions of receptor cells in the upper nasal cavity and the length and flexibility of its trunk, elephants can smell water from several miles away and accurately interpret the direction.
Elephants’ trunks can suck up to 14 litres of water and then squirt it into their mouth or splash it around. And while its flat teeth are grinding plant material into a digestible mash, its trunk can independently search and retrieve food anywhere from ground level to upto 2 meters above its head level.
Elephants also use trunks to greet by entwining or touching each other’s trunks – just like how we shake hands or hug. Baby elephants and sometimes even adults suck their trunks to comfort themselves when stressed – just like how human babies suck their thumb!
Given how complex the trunk is, it takes over an year of practicing and playing for baby elephants to effectively use this multi-functional organ. And while they are at it, it’s a treat watching them!
Have a good day members!