The trunk contains as many as 60,000 muscles, which consist of longitudinal and radiating sets.The longitudinals are mostly superficial and subdivided into anterior, lateral, and posterior.Four basic muscle masses—the radial, the longitudinal and two oblique layers—and the size and attachments points of the tendon masses allow the shortening, extension, bending, and twisting movements accounting for the ability to hold, and manipulate loads of up to 300 kg (660 lb).
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The acute sense of smell uses both the trunk and Jacobson's organ.
Elephants use their trunks for breathing, watering, feeding, touching, dusting, sound production and communication, washing, pinching, grasping, defense and offense.
The largest bull elephant ever recorded was shot by the Maharajah of Susang in the Garo Hills of Assam, India in 1924, it weighed 7 tonnes (7.7 short tons), stood 3.43 m (11.3 ft) tall at the shoulder and was 8.06 m (26.4 ft) long from head to tail.
The distinctive trunk is an elongation of the nose and upper lip combined; the nostrils are at its tip, which has a one finger-like process.
The "proboscis" or trunk consists wholly of muscular and membranous tissue, and is a tapering muscular structure of nearly circular cross-section extending proximally from attachment at the anterior nasal orifice, and ending distally in a tip or finger.
The length may vary from 1.5 to 2 m (59 to 79 in) or longer depending on the species and age.
Some males may also lack tusks; these individuals are called "filsy makhnas", and are especially common among the Sri Lankan elephant population.
Furthermore, the forehead has two hemispherical bulges, unlike the flat front of the African elephant.
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