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How do elephants use their trunks? The trunk is like a fifth limb to an elephant and helps it to perform many tasks, the most vital being to gather food. The trunk is composed of nose and upper lip and is ideally suited for stripping a branch of leaves and transferring them to the mouth. Young bull elephants use their trunks to wrestle with each other. The trunk is also used to drink and wash. Young elephants take a year to learn how to use their trunk and before this they must drink through their mouths by lowering their heads to water level.
Primary Class Clips
This clip is from:
Primary Class Clips, Favourable Characteristics of Animals
First broadcast:
12 June 2009

Classroom Ideas

Brainstorm ideas with the class about what they would do if they could grow a trunk like an elephant. Record ideas on the interactive whiteboard and save. As the clip is shown, pause and list all the uses an elephant employs with its trunk. As a Maths link, pupils could compare the 250 kg food they gather with the amount of kg eaten by humans. Similarly, the children could compare the 100 litres a day needed by an adult elephant with their own daily water intake. Pupils could also calculate how many buckets of water would be needed to give the elephants enough to drink each day (2 large buckets of water can be held in an elephant's trunk at one time).