Elephant trunks are very dexterous because they are so wrinkly

Elephants’ trunks are covered in wrinkles and the pattern of their distribution seems to help the trunk curve as it extends

Life 18 July 2022

An elephant using its trunk to pick up a banana

Wrinkles help give an elephant’s trunk its distinctive curl

www.alamyDavid Guinaldo/EyeEm/Alamy

Elephants’ trunks are so wrinkly to help them stretch out and reach further – and the distribution of the wrinkles helps the animals pick up objects dexterously.

When an elephant reaches out to grasp an object with its trunk, extra wrinkles in the skin on top of the trunk allow it to stretch more than the skin of the underside. This makes the trunk curl over at the tip, which helps the animal pick up objects as small as a blade of grass …

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