Credit: CC0 Public Domain
A team of researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Zoo and the Rochester Institute of Technology have discovered the way in which elephants can quickly grab and quickly eat small items. In his paper published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface the group describes its study and what they found.
The researchers find that the elephants have to eat a lot every day because of their huge size and the type of food they eat. Previous research has shown that adults consume an average of 200 kg of food every day, mostly vegetation. Because of its huge appetite, elephants must be able to eat a wide range of food, whether small or large. In this new effort, the researchers wondered how elephants can pick up and eat things like cereals or even flour with their luggage. To find out, they filmed a female adult at the Atlanta Zoo and picked up rutabags and carrots that had been cut in different sizes. They also gave birth to their bran, which was in close powder form.
The researchers found that the elephant formed a joint with her luggage that made it possible for her to stack the clan and then crush it so hard that it was in a shape that she could pick up and eat. To make the joint, the elephant bent its cob in a tight angle, with some of it as a baking tray of different kinds. The other part of the snout then pressed the food against the baking sheet and compressed it into a solid mass. Once the elephant was there he easily formed the mass and took it to his mouth. The team noted that the elephant formed baking plates of different heights depending on the type of food. They could also measure the power exercised by the strain on the food-47 Newtons to crush a 50 gram high of bran.
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Jianing Wu et al. Elephant tribes form the leader to clamp small objects, Journal of The Royal Society Interface (2018). DOI: 10,1098 / rsif.2018.0377