Surviving with an elephant’s trunk would truly be a prosperous life, and recent research from the Georgia Institute of Technology has only deepened the deep jealousy that we as a species should feel about this versatile addition. The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, found that the nostrils of an elephant’s trunk could store 9 liters of water for an animal that went through the bathtub twice a day.
After all, they can suck water at speeds about 30 times faster than a human sneeze. Evolution has really made us dirty. The dispersal of liquids, gases and frequent substances throughout the animal kingdom is an endless resource of human innovation, healthcare and inspirational technology used at home (did you know that a few hand suction devices were inspired by Remora?) Researchers were particularly interested in elephants and their causes. They are unique in their ability to suck liquids both on the ground and at the bottom. Researchers working with veterinarians at the Zoo Atlanta examined the internal functions of elephant trunks by looking at elephants that ate different foods.
Not a bad read for elephants back then, but misophonia played in the ears of people who observed how and why elephants could use their trunks to absorb solids and liquids – A KA, Slurp Central. Using snacks with rutabaga cubes (a type of root vegetable) and tortilla chips, the sucking ability of the elephant’s trunk really confirmed. The elephants were able to suck the cube and tortilla chips, holding the chips with their trunks some breathing (some sucking a piece of paper over the man’s face). The use of mammals for food retention believed to be limited to fish, proving again that elephants have really won big in the evolution lottery. In addition to being adept at packing light food items, studies have shown that elephants are able to remove their trunks to fit their surprisingly fluid amounts. The team used ultrasonographic images and an ultrasonic probe to figure out how they were doing it.
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