Elephants can control how much force their trunks exert. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Greg Willis
A new experiment has revealed just how gently the world's largest land animal can pick things up.
Despite being extremely big and heavy, the elephant is capable of manipulating objects with a significant degree of care and finesse thanks to the remarkable properties of its trunk.
During a recent study at Zoo Atlanta, researchers presented the elephants with a selection of different treats which had been either ground in to powder or formed in to various shapes.
The results were impressive and showed that the animals could pick up even the most fragile of items with a trunk which, in some cases, can weigh in excess of 180kg.
The key, the researchers believe, lies in the way the elephants are able to moderate the force exerted by their trunks by creating temporary joints inside.
Source: Sciencemag.org | Comments (2)