See An Elephant Demand Food By Sticking Its Trunk Through a Fence And Snagging Carrots

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: November 8, 2023
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This elephant is giving a wonderful demonstration of just how dexterous a trunk can be. All it has to do is place its trunk through these railings a nice human gives it some carrots! We don’t get to see any other part of the elephant though! Scroll down to get an amazing up-close view of how an elephant’s trunk works.

Watch the Amazing Clip Below

What Exactly Is an Elephant’s Trunk?

An elephant’s trunk is their nose and upper lip fused. There are two nostrils at the tip which you get a very clear view of in this clip. You also get a great demonstration of just how dexterous an elephant can be using their trunk. There are eight major muscles on each side and 150,000 portions of muscles over the entire trunk. It contains no bone and no cartilage.

Elephant’s trunks can be between 6 and 6.5 feet in length and can weigh 440 pounds. There are some differences between the trunk of an African elephant and an Asian elephant. In general, the African elephant’s trunk is more heavily banded and is not as hard as that of the Asian elephant. The African elephant has two distinct ‘fingers’ – one on the top and one on the bottom. The Asian elephant has just one ‘finger’.

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What Is an Elephant’s Trunk For?

Elephant trumpeting as he leaves the Chobe River in Botswana Africa

Elephant trunks have lots of different purposes.

©Dennis W Donohue/Shutterstock.com

An elephant’s trunk is vital for its survival and fulfills several purposes. The obvious purpose is that they breathe through it. At least 70 percent of the air inhaled by an elephant enters their lungs through the trunk. The rest comes through the mouth. Elephants can use their trunk for snorkeling! They can submerge themselves under the water, using their trunk, which they hold above the water, to carry air to them, enabling them to breathe.

Elephants also use their trunk for lifting, smelling, and spraying things over their body. They like to spray both dust and water using their trunks. At the end of the trunk is a prehensile tip. This is used for grasping objects as we get to see in this clip. The fingers at the tip of the trunk allow the elephant to grab even small objects – like carrots!

Finally, the trunk is used for producing sound. Elephants use sound during courtship, to communicate with their calves, and to show when they are displeased. It is a common misconception that elephants drink through their trunk. They suck water up into their trunk and then squirt it into their mouths. An elephant’s trunk can hold a staggering two gallons of water at a time!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Mikhail Kolesnikov/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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