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