Why Do Elephants Have Trunks?


Quick Answer

Although the elephant uses its trunk to pick up objects, the main function of the trunk is for eating and drinking. Using its trunk, the elephant can graze around trees or the ground without any movement of its head, and it can suck around 3.5 gallons of water up at one time.

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Full Answer

Elephants use their trunks for smelling, and they have a keen sense of smell that is up to four times as sensitive as a bloodhound. This feature allows the elephant to use its nose like a periscope to search for its family, stay on the lookout for possible predators and find food and water resources. The elephant trunk is also used for socializing and greeting one another. Elephants have been observed intertwining their trunks in an elephant version of the human hug or handshake.

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