elephants trunks photo credit CC0 Public Domain

Elephants are huge and therefore they have to eat a lot every day. Adults consume an average of 200 kilograms of food each day—most of it vegetation. Because of their enormous appetite, elephants must be able to eat a wide variety of food, whether small or large.

However, even though they look clumsy, elephants can quickly and easily grab and very quickly eat small objects. But how do they pick up and eat things like grain or even flour with only a trunk as cutlery?

These crafty giants form a joint with their trunks that allowed them to pile the bran, and then to crush it so hard that it melded into a form that enables them to pick it up and eat. To make the joint, the elephants bend their snouts at a tight angle, using part of it as a backplate of sorts. The other part of the snout then squeezes the food against the backplate, compressing it into a solid mass. Once formed, the elephant easily picks up the mass with the trunk and bring it to their mouth. They even form backplates of different heights depending on the type of food.






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