An elephant’s trunk consists of 6 muscle groups that are subdivided into 100,000 individual muscles, and the elephant shows considerable dexterity in applying this extensive power network. In India, law enforcement officers use elephants to go illegally parked cars. The elephant wraps its trunk around the offending auto and moves it from the way. On another end of the spectrum, elephants have sufficient control over their power to be able grasp and lift a natural egg with the trunk without breaking the shell. An elephants uses the fingerlike projections at the conclusion of its trunk to scratch itchy skin behind its ears or to wipe dust far from its eyes. A mother elephant guides her youngster using her trunk just how a shepherd uses a staff to corral sheep, nudging the infant gently underneath her body if she spots a predator, or pushing him combined with rest of the herd toward food or water. She also steers her child by grabbing its tail with her trunk and shifting to the proper or left.
An elephant’s trunk also serves as a straw or a hose. An elephant fills its trunk with around 5 quarts of water and then empties it into its mouth to be able to drink. Elephants also cool off with mud baths, scooping wet soil from the river bottom and flinging it onto their hot skin. When an elephant goes swimming, it uses its trunk as a snorkel.
When elephants need to communicate with others in the herd, the trunk and the ears are used to telegraph emotions. Raising the trunk indicates excitement or danger, making trumpeting sounds with the trunk is just a sign of joy (especially when followed by flapping ears), and sniffing a thing accompanied by placing the end of the trunk within the mouth shows curiosity. Like cats, elephants exhibit the Flehmen response when they detect strange scents utilizing the Jacobsons organ that is found in the roof of its mouth. Scents tell the elephant whose been prowling in its territory. When other elephants view a herd member with an apparent sneer on its face, they understand that something interesting has been discovered in the area.
Elephants use their ears as air conditioners. Elephants’ears include a network of blood vessels that expand during hot weather and allow body heat to escape. Cooled blood returns to the human body, effectively bringing the elephant’s core temperature down. Elephants thrust out their ears when they have to relax, and often face toward the prevailing winds in order to gain the maximum cooling effectation of the passing breezes.
The multitasking elephant listens with its feet along with its ears. When an elephant speaks, it generates a low-pitched rumbling sound that is nearly inaudible but that sends vibrations through the earth. Other elephants have the message through their toes. These seismic messages can travel several miles, offering elephant herds the same of telegraph.
And what allows the elephant to maneuver silently over the Savannah? Elephants have a spongy layer of skin on their feet that is comparable to the only of a good couple of sneakers. Like sneakers, this layer also acts as an application of shock absorber, allowing a dog weighing several tons to walk or run without jarring its joints.