An elephant’s trunk comprises 6 muscle groups which can be subdivided into 100,000 individual muscles daun belalai gajah, and the elephant shows considerable dexterity in by using this extensive power network. In India, police officers use elephants to maneuver illegally parked cars. The elephant wraps its trunk around the offending auto and moves it out from the way. On one other end of the spectrum, elephants have enough 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 end of its trunk to scratch itchy skin behind its ears or even to wipe dust away from its eyes. A mother elephant guides her youngster using her trunk the way a shepherd works on the staff to corral sheep, nudging the infant gently underneath her body if she spots a predator, or pushing him combined with remaining herd toward food or water. She also steers her child by grabbing its tail with her trunk and shifting to the right or left.
An elephant’s trunk also serves as a straw or perhaps a hose. An elephant fills its trunk with around 5 quarts of water and then empties it into its mouth in order 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 subject accompanied by placing the end of the trunk inside the mouth shows curiosity. Like cats, elephants exhibit the Flehmen response once they detect strange scents using 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 see a herd member by having 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 summer 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 should relax, and often face toward the prevailing winds to be able to gain the maximum cooling effectation of the passing breezes.
The multitasking elephant listens with its feet as well as its ears. When an elephant speaks, it creates a low-pitched rumbling sound that is nearly inaudible but that sends vibrations through the earth. Other elephants get the message through their toes. These seismic messages can travel several miles, offering elephant herds the equivalent of telegraph.
And what allows the elephant to go silently across the Savannah? Elephants have a spongy layer of skin on their feet that resembles the only of a good pair of sneakers. Like sneakers, this layer also acts as a questionnaire of shock absorber, allowing an animal weighing several tons to walk or run without jarring its joints.