An elephant's most obvious characteristic is the trunk, a much elongated combination of nose and upper lip, which can be used to grab objects such as food. The tip of an elephant's trunk contains pacinian corpuscles. Elephants also have tusks, large teeth coming out of their upper jaws. Elephant tusks are the major source of ivory, but because of the increased rarity of elephants, hunting and ivory trade is now restricted and in some countries illegal.













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Elephants have three premolars and three molars in each quadrant. They erupt in order from front to back, then wear down as the elephant chews its highly fibrous diet. When the last molar has worn out, the elephant typically dies of malnutrition; elephants in captivity can be kept alive longer than that by feeding them preground food. The molars of the African elephant are loxodont, hence the genus name.

Images 1Through 3 Are Courtesy Of The US Fish and Wildlife Service
Images 3 Though 18 Are Courtesy of Scotch Macaskill






















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