One of the most amazing things about an elephant’s trunk is that it can pick up things that are really heavy and need a lot of strength (for example, a tree) or things that are really small and might otherwise slip away easily (for example, a pencil). Elephants also use their trunks for sucking up water and then squirting it into their mouths for drinking, or over their heads for cooling down and bathing!
Aside from being like an elephant’s upper lip and nose, the trunk is also used kind of like how you might sometimes use your hand or arm -- elephants greet each other using their trunks, and also use them to touch each other affectionately, kind of like giving a hug!
Because the trunk does so many things, learning to use it can take an elephant a while! For most young elephants, it takes about a year before they’re a pro.
Pretend that you have an elephant trunk! If you lower your head and put one arm in front of you, you can swing it about and make it trunk-like!
Try doing a few things with your “trunk” like picking up toys, tying your shoes, or opening doors. If you had your own trunk, how might you do certain things differently??
Sources & links
“What is the full purpose of the elephant’s trunk?” African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG). Species Survival Commission. 22 Mar. 2011 “How do elephants use their trunks?” Learning Zone Broadband. British Broadcasting Corporation. 22 Mar. 2011