Elephants are SUPER SUCKERS and can inhale food at staggering speeds of 335 mph

0

Elephants are SUPER SUCKERS and can inhale food at staggering speeds of 335 mph – 30 times faster than a human sneeze

  • Researchers got elephants to pick up different pieces of food of different sizes
  • They found that if there were more than 10 squash squares, they were using suction
  • This meant that they had to suck it from the ground into their trunks to put in their mouths
  • They found that elephants can suck the food by dilating their nostrils

According to a new study, elephants can inhale their food at a speed of 335 miles per hour, which is 30 times faster than a human sneeze.

Despite having heavy trunks and weighing as much as seven tons, elephants mainly feed on lightweight vegetation, such as roots, grasses, fruits and bark.

To find out how they do this and what’s involved, scientists at Georgia Tech filmed the inside and outside of the pachyderm trunks to examine their sucking ability.

An adult consumes 300 pounds of vegetation in one day, and they do so by dilating their nostrils by 60 percent and sucking up the food at about 335 mph, they found.

To find out how they do this and what's involved, scientists at Georgia Tech filmed the inside and outside of the pachyderm trunks to examine their sucking ability.

To find out how they do this and what’s involved, scientists at Georgia Tech filmed the inside and outside of the pachyderm trunks to examine their sucking ability.

An adult consumes 300 pounds of vegetation in one day, and they do it by dilating their nostrils by 60 percent and sucking up the food at about 335 mph, they found.

An adult consumes 300 pounds of vegetation in one day, and they do it by dilating their nostrils by 60 percent and sucking up the food at about 335 mph, they found.

This suction helps elephants deal with smaller food items, as their trunks, weighing about 220 pounds or more, aren’t exactly the most delicate appendage.

This study with elephants at Zoo Atlanta, USA, tested the suction capacity when siphoning water and when picking up tortilla chips or vegetable cubes.

“We filmed elephants showing that they can use suction to grab food, displaying a behavior previously thought to be only for fish,” the authors said.

‘We have shown that elephants apply this behavior to large numbers of small items, but also to single flat items such as tortilla chips.’

The team fed Swede’s elephant cubes in different sizes and amounts during 14 individual experiments and found that the grasping behavior changed depending on the size and amount of food presented.

If the elephant got less than ten small cubes, it used the trunk’s grab tip, but if there were more than 10 items, they used a sucking technique.

A loud vacuuming sound accompanied the suction as food is quickly drawn onto the tip of the trunk at incredible speeds, the researchers found.

In all experiments, the elephant swept its trunk over the power platform to manually contact the food items.

This suction helps elephants handle smaller food items, as their trunks, weighing about 220 pounds or more, aren't exactly the most delicate appendage.

This suction helps elephants handle smaller food items, as their trunks, weighing about 220 pounds or more, aren’t exactly the most delicate appendage.

When given piles of bran fibers with tiny grains about 1mm in diameter, the elephant didn’t use suction, which the team said was to keep grains from getting stuck in its trunk.

They then gave the elephant a tortilla chip – a simple flat object that would be difficult for such a heavy trunk to pick up without breaking.

The researchers found that the elephant used suction to “pick it up without breaking it” and put the tortilla chip in its mouth.

This means that suction can help improve how well elephants can grasp small objects, allowing them to eat food that would otherwise be difficult to handle.

When given piles of bran fiber with tiny grains about 1mm wide, the elephant didn't use suction, which the team said was to prevent grains from getting into the trunk.

When given piles of bran fiber with tiny grains about 1mm wide, the elephant didn’t use suction, which the team said was to prevent grains from getting into the trunk.

“Using liquid suction experiments, we measured the pressure generated by elephants and showed that elephants can increase the volume of their trunks by up to 64 percent to carry more water,” they said.

Before this study, scientists thought that this method of sucking was only used by underwater pachyderms, but now they know it can be used anywhere.

In robotics, suction has long been used to grasp objects. The behavior shown here could provide further inspiration for the use and design of such devices, the team said.

The findings are published in the journal Royal Society Interface.

ELEPHANTS ARE HIGHLY INTELLIGENT AND VERY SOCIAL WITH ‘SOME HUMAN PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS’

New research has shown that the emotional characteristics of elephants are similar to those of humans.

It turns out that the animals have different personalities.

They can be aggressive, attentive and outgoing.

For the study, scientists asked elephant riders, or mahouts, to answer questions about the behavior of the animals they worked with every day.

A new study has found that elephants, like humans, have different personalities.  They can be aggressive, attentive and outgoing.  Pictured is an elephant with its mahout, or rider, with whom the animal works every day in Myanmar's timber industry

A new study has found that elephants, like humans, have different personalities. They can be aggressive, attentive and outgoing. Pictured is an elephant with its mahout, or rider, with whom the animal works every day in Myanmar’s timber industry

Dr. Martin Steltmann, who worked on the new report, explained how his team defined the traits that categorize elephants.

He said, ‘Attention is related to how an elephant acts in and perceives its environment.

‘Sociability describes how an elephant seeks closeness with other elephants and people and how popular they are as social partners.

“Aggressiveness shows how aggressively an elephant behaves towards other elephants and how much it interferes with their social interaction.”

The team of dr. Steltmann is hopeful the new research could help with elephant conservation.

Advertisement

.