Newly recognized tricks help elephants suck up huge amounts of water

Whether or not it’s possible to teach an old elephant new tricks, a 34-year-old pachyderm at Zoo Atlanta has recently taught researchers a thing or two about how elephants suck up food and water with their trunks.

For one thing, an elephant doesn’t use its trunk as a simple straw. It can also dilate its nostrils to boost its trunk’s carrying capacity while snorting up water, researchers report online June 2 in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. And that means it takes fewer snorts than expected to stock up on water that they use to drink and hose themselves down.

The surprise finding came courtesy of detailed

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