As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved the trunk of an elephant. This picture was taken in Zimbabwe at the Hwange National Park. Click on the image to see it in full resolution.
Here are 5 fun facts about Elephant trunks.
- With an estimated muscle count between 40,000 and 150,000, the trunk of an elephant is capable of killing a lion–or caressing a frightened elephant calf.
- An elephant actually has somewhat opposable fingers at the tip of its trunk, so it can use it like a hand (African elephants have 2 of these “fingers”, but Asian elephants just have 1).
- An elephant’s trunk is a fundamental part of the animal’s olfactory system. Elephants point their trunk in different directions to sample the air for scents.
- To drink, elephants suck water up into their trunk but do not drink through the trunk. They place the end of its trunk in their mouth and releases the water. African elephants also use their trunks to take dust baths that help to repel insects and guard against harmful rays of the sun.
- When swimming they hold their trunk out of the water much like a snorkel so they can breath.
The most fascinating fact is that elephants are not born with this trunk-talent either. Baby elephants have to learn this kind of precision; they’re clumsy with their trunks when they are born. Goes to show that beauty and grace CAN be taught.
Which is your favourite animal and care to share any fun facts?