About Oceans2Earth

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Oceans2Earth strives to assist with local solutions to global problems. O2E was founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2010 for the purpose of providing resources and financial assistance to animal welfare and conservation projects including elephant sanctuary land in Kenya, cat and dog rescue in Africa and community recycled product projects in Asia and Africa. The O2E Foundation aims to facilitate people’s awareness of the impacts of animal tourism, trade and human intervention on the welfare, sustainability and general health of wildlife populations.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Day Four : That Amazing Trunk!

With estimated muscle counts ranging between 40,000 and 150,000, the trunk of an elephant is the most extraordinary and dexterous nose in creation. The trunk feels a bit like a hairy tree trunk or hard, crackly old leather! It’s extremely strong and yet gentle and sensitive as well, and is both capable of killing a lion - or caressing a frightened elephant calf.

It can pick leaves, strip branches, pull bark off trees, and pick up objects as small as a coin. It can suck up a gallon of water to squirt into a mouth or on a hot back (Elephants do not drink through their trunk, but use it to draw the liquid).

With their trunks elephants throw dust in the air, rub their eyes, greet one another, sound calls, test uncertain ground, smell danger--or a potential mate--and snorkel. African elephants have two lobes on the tips of their trunks (Asians have only one) that act like fingers.

Since elephants spend most of their time eating and drinking, those fingers get a steady workout, grasping seeds, roots, fruit, flowers, leaves, branches, bark, grass, and even thorns to pacify an incurable appetite.

Elephants can consume as much 300 pounds of forage a day, and up to 50 gallons of water. They drink whenever they can since they may have to go for a couple days or more without water during dry spells or while traveling.

Elephants are fast walkers and some herds have been observed to cover 120 miles in one day. However, 15 miles is a closer average for an elephant. More than most of us walk, anyway.

Elephants communicate a lot through touch, taste, and smell. A mother may bat her calf with her tail to make sure he is still following behind her, or she may turn and shove him as discipline. Two elephants who meet will "greet" with trunks outstretched, sniffing for clues about the other. (Incidentally, some scientists say that excited behaviour during greetings may suggest that elephants remember one another, even after being separated for many years.)

Elephants on alert will raise their trunks like periscopes, with the tips pointed toward whatever ill wind is blowing. They also can make more than 25 various vocalizations. Trumpets, screams, rumbles, and grunts all send a message, depending on how they are made.

A series of long, low rumbles may be a signal for the family to get up and move on. A trumpet may be a show of intimidation; a special soft hum is a mother's song to her newborn. Some calls are made only by females, only by males, or by calves.
Thanks to http://www.wildlife-pictures-online.com, http://oceans2earth.org/volunteer

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