As a breeze blows through the savannah, a snake-shaped tube stretches into the air and scans the horizon like a periscope. But it’s not seeing— it’s sniffing. Containing no bones and an estimated 40,000 muscles, an elephant trunk is one of the most versatile tools in the animal kingdom.
Learn how elephants use their incredible, bendable, twistable, expandable trunks with this TED-Ed lesson by elephant conservationist and PhD candidate in environmental science Chase LaDue and Western Kentucky University professor Dr. Bruce A. Schulte.
The short was directed by Petya Zlateva. Plus, Dig Deeper:
Many animals perceive the world and communicate with each other well outside the range of human senses, which means that biologists sometimes get creative to study what animals see, hear, taste, and smell…
Elephants can hear well below frequencies that humans can, at frequencies in the infrasonic range. This infrasound allows their calls to travel over long distances, and we are discovering that more and more animals also use similar calls. But it also means that researchers studying infrasonic calls must have specific recording equipment to understand what these calls mean and how they are produced.
Related watching: How Elephants Listen … With Their Feet.
There are more elephant videos in the archives, including:
• Elephants’ Incredible Intelligence
• A daddy Asian Elephant cuddles his calf
• An elephant finds her own fruit in the jungle
• Elephant calf river rescue
This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.
Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.