7 Animals With Big Noses (And Why They Have Them) (2023)

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Core items:

  • An elephant's trunk resembles a human's hands. The elephant trunk is multifunctional, used for bathing, holding a branch to kill flies, making tools and even comforting babies.
  • The proboscis monkey's 6-inch nose helps attract females. For women, a long nose means a large body, which means better protection. These polygynous monkeys use their snouts to make a loud mating call.
  • The elephant shrew's long, thin nose gives it an advantage in tracking down insects and invertebrates on which to feed. A keen sense of smell isn't the only super strength of this tiny mammal; They also have keen eyesight and hearing.

A nose with two nostrils is a trait shared by almost all animals, and with good reason. The nose gives us an additional sense through its ability to smell, but it also serves as a critical pathway that allows air to flow to the lungs. But while most animals use their noses solely for these two purposes, a few have evolved appendages that are much more elongated. As is often the case with evolutionary change, those long noses serve a purpose. Here are seven of the animals with the biggest noses — and why they evolved them in the first place.

No. 7: Elephant shrew - Nose as a meal eater

7 Animals With Big Noses (And Why They Have Them) (1)

Big noses are often a way to compensate for poor senses elsewhere, but that's not the case with theelephant shrew. this tinymammalIt has exceptional eyesight, hearing and a keen sense of smell. Their long noses may look like a scaled-down version of the trunk elephants carry, but they're not as flexible. Instead, they use their noses much like aardvarks - sweeping the ground to destabilize theminsectsis smallinvertebratesand then eat them. It is an effective technique that has allowed them to spread worldwide.Africa.

These animals play a crucial role in their ecosystem by managing native insect populations. You can rely on them to manage ant and termite populations where they are prevalent. They also use their large noses to sniff out each other's scents - and marking territory with scent glands is a common social habit of these monogamous, territorial midgets.

7 Animals With Big Noses (And Why They Have Them) (2)

Although it looks very similarant-eater, aAardvarkis more related to thatElephant🇧🇷 And although these creatures cannot use their long snouts to craft tools and wield weapons, they can use them to hunt. An aardvark rips up nests of termites and ants with its claws and then sucks up these insects in vast numbers with its long nose. An aardvark caneat up to 50,000 insectsin a single night and they inhale it without chewing. Aardvarks are nocturnal scavengers with poor eyesight, so they rely on their nose as their primary means of navigation. Ten bones in the nose create a sense of smell that surpasses anyonedog breed.

The aardvark shows how dramatically evolution can take place to fill a very specific niche within an ecosystem. Through patient evolution, aardvarks have evolved the ability to completely seal their nostrils to prevent clogginginsectsand dust.

#5: Star Nose Mole - Nose as a navigational aid

7 Animals With Big Noses (And Why They Have Them) (3)

Although many animals use their sense of smell to navigate dark environments, none do so in the same way as humans.Star-nosed mole🇧🇷 His face is covered in a wriggling mass of tentacles. The 22 tentacles surrounding its nose contain an estimated 100,000 nerve endings — more than five times as many as the human body.MenschHand. That's quite an achievement considering these moles are less than half a foot long. In the dark tunnels and shallow waters this mole navigates, sight is far from essential - and the star-nosed mole has developed a unique way of seeing the world around him.

Its big-nosed tentacles all move in unison, and each can touch up to ten objects in a second. It's hard to imagine what this practically supernatural sense of touch must feel like, but it allows them to effectively map their subterranean surroundings and identify and assess prey such as worms and insects in milliseconds. This sensory input is completely different from their actual olfactory abilities - although they do have the ability to smell underwater.

#4: Proboscis Monkey - Nose as a built-in amplifier

7 Animals With Big Noses (And Why They Have Them) (4)

Often a long nose is there to help navigate a dark world or find a meal, but sometimes it's built to attract a mate.proboscis monkeysare known for their huge bulbous noses, but males have much larger noses—and males with larger noses tend to be more successful with the opposite sex. While these noses serve no functional purpose outside of the mating process, they are an example of how seemingly innocuous traits can result in specific sexual selection preferences in a species.

(Video) Wild Animal Nose Boops! AMAZING

In this case, it is due to several overlapping factors. Holding male proboscis monkeysHaren'sof women, and success - at least in the evolutionary sense - is based on having as large a harem as possible. Averaging about half a foot in length, these noses can project a male monkey's mating call to reach a larger group of females — but large noses also tend to correspond with larger bodies, suggesting that a male can detect threats and can chase competitors. The researchers even correlated a large nose with a proportionately small group of canines — a trait they say improves their efficiency as foragers.

#3: Tapirs - Nose as food grabber

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A long noseAntresembles an elephant's trunk, and the similarities go beyond appearance. This animal's noses are prehensile, allowing them to navigate objects in their environment in a rather sophisticated way. As in the elephant, this trunk straddles both the tapir's upper lip and nose. Different species of tapirs can be found in the jungle, grasslands, and even some mountainous regionsCentraleSouth America, and they all use this extended snout primarily to pull plants and fruit from branches that would otherwise be unreachable.

Unlike the aardvark, tapirs don't rely on their nose as a substitute for being nearly blind. Although they don't have the best eyesight in the animal kingdom, these animals are good at navigating by sight and better by hearing. But their proboscis helps enhance their sense of smell. By peeling the proboscis back and away from the mouth and exposing the teeth, they can activate what is known as the Flehmen response and alert themselves to everything from food sources to threats to potential mates.

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Öfish seenit doesn't just have a big nose - this animal has a big nose that's suspiciously shaped like a chainsaw. Their long, thin, flat noses are lined with pointed scales. And although their noses cannot be sped up, they are an effective tool for hunting. Scientists have long observed sawfish using their extraordinarily large noses to sift through the sand and findcrustaceanschew.

But recent revelations have made it clear that they also turn up their noses to kill prey. And scrubbing loose sand isn't the only way to use your nose on the hunt. Small sensors are fully embedded in itof fishnose, and make it possible to identify the electric fields emitted by living organisms.

Sawfish does not attackpeople, but that seems less reassuring when you consider the fact that these fish are among the largest in the sea, some growing to 25 feet in length. They might accidentally step on one as they live in shallow, murky water.

#1: Elephant - Nose as a general purpose tool

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It used to be thought that humans are the only animals capable of using tools, but elephants refute this theory with the creative and diverse ways they manipulate their flexible noses. An elephant's trunk can be up to two meters long and weighs up to 180 kilograms and is formed from the fusion of the nose and lip. Elephants have been seen grabbing branches with their trunks and using them to knock flies away and scratch their leathery skin. And as a sign of superior intelligence, they even use their trunks to tear down branches and turn them into more effective tools.

But in addition to carrying and throwing objects into the environment, the trunk can also serve as an extremely sensitive organ of touch. Trunks are used to touch and pet other elephants to show affection, and they use these trunks to understand the texture, shape, and weight of objects around them. elephants, like thatindian elephanteAsian elephant, have even been seen laying their trunks on the ground to sense vibrations from afar.

Animals with Big Noses Summary

classificationTierpurpose of the nose
1Elephantuniversal tool
2fish seenAll purpose hunting tool
3ebenfood grabber
4Nasenaffebuilt-in amplifier
5Star-nosed molenavigation aid
6Aardvarkforaging tool
7elephant shrewMeal Feeder

Be continued...

Find out more facts about creepy crawlies!

  • 10 amazing facts about the aardvarkThey eat ants, but what else is cool about the aardvark?
  • 10 amazing facts about the centipedeFind out if centipedes really have 100 legs, as the name suggests!
  • 10 amazing facts about naked mole ratsIf a mole rat is blind, does it know it's naked?
7 Animals With Big Noses (And Why They Have Them) (8)

7 Animals With Big Noses (And Why They Have Them) (9)

About the author

Heather Ross

Heather Ross is a high school English teacher and mother of 2 humans, 2 tuxedo cats, and a gold doodler. While taking the kids to soccer practice and grading homework, she enjoys reading and writing about all the animals!

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Thank you for reading! Do you have feedback for us?Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

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Which animal has a long nose and a large body? ›

elephant, (family Elephantidae), largest living land animal, characterized by its long trunk (elongated upper lip and nose), columnar legs, and huge head with temporal glands and wide, flat ears.

What are the names of animal noses? ›

A nose in the Animal Kingdom can be called a snout, a muzzle, a proboscis, a trunk, a beak, a bill, or a horn.

Which animal has 4 noses? ›

Slugs have four noses, and they're retractable. Two are for seeing and smelling, and they can be operated independently. A slug can gaze at you, (or smell you) and a friend simultaneously.

What animal had the biggest nose? ›

The proboscis monkey's nose – often large enough to hang over the mouth – become red and swollen when the monkey is in danger or excited, and acts as a resonator when it makes its characteristic honking warning sound. The largest mammalian nose, however, belongs to the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).

Why Elephant has a big nose? ›

Elephants have more scent receptors and a bigger olfactory bulb than any other mammal. And there's that trunk, which serves as a movable smell antenna, which can go under a log or into the wind. Their noses are so good that they help them avoid minefields in Angola. In fact, tests showed that they can detect TNT.

What is a Frogs nose called? ›

They have tiny openings on the roof of their mouth called external nares that take in different scents directly into their mouths. The external nares also help them breathe, just like our noses do.

What animal has a nose like a elephant? ›

The tapir's nose and upper lip combine into a flexible snout like an elephant's trunk. It can be used as a snorkel when the tapir is underwater and as an effective tool to detect odors wafting through the dense forest.

Which animal has five noses? ›

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What animal has 4 hearts? ›

An eel-shaped, slimy fish, the hagfish is the only known extant animal to possess a skull but no vertebral column. Its strange, alienlike appearance likely contributed to its less-than-flattering name. In addition, it also contains four hearts, one more than the octopus or squid.

Which animal has blue blood? ›

Can you guess what animals might have blue blood? Lobsters, crabs, pillbugs, shrimp, octopus, crayfish, scallops, barnacles, snails, small worms (except earthworms), clams, squid, slugs, mussels, horseshoe crabs, most spiders. None of these animals have backbones. Some of these animals are Mollusks, like the snails.

What shark has a nose? ›

Atlantic sharpnose sharks are small for sharks and have a streamlined body. They get their name from their long, pointy snout. They are several different shades of gray and have a white underside. Adults have white spots on their sides and white along the edges of their pectoral fins.

What animal has a long nose and shell? ›

Armadillos are the only living mammals that wear such shells. Closely related to anteaters and sloths, armadillos generally have a pointy or shovel-shaped snout and small eyes. They vary widely in size and color, from the 6-inch-long, salmon-colored pink fairy armadillo to the 5-foot-long, dark-brown giant armadillo.

What monkey has a big nose? ›

Male proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) have highly exaggerated noses—a potent cue for attracting mates and determining social status.

Which bird has a long nose? ›

A Big Nose for a Beautiful Bird: Toucans, Ramphastidae.

What dinosaur has a big nose? ›

The beast's giant nose earned the dinosaur the name Rhinorex condrupus, with the Latin word Rhinorex meaning "king nose." And it surely sported a large sniffer: Rhinorex had the largest nasal opening, relative to its size, of any duck-billed dinosaur, according to Terry Gates, a researcher at North Carolina State ...

What water animal has a long nose? ›

The Fly River turtle is sometimes called the pig-nosed turtle, because its unique head has a large, fleshy nose. This snout allows the turtle to breathe at the surface of the water while the rest of its body remains submerged, preventing it from being exposed to potential predators.

What animal has a long pig like nose? ›

What animal looks like a pig but has a long snout like an aardvark or anteater? It is the tapir! A tapir may look like a pig or anteater, but they aren't. Instead, tapirs are related to rhinos and horses.

What animal has a long nose like an elephant? ›

Tapirs have a short prehensile (gripping) trunk, which is really an extended nose and upper lip. They use this trunk to grab branches and clean them of leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. Tapirs feed each morning and evening.

What dogs have a big nose? ›

"Some of the most iconic long-snouted dogs, like greyhounds and whippets, are racing dogs, and thus their long snouts are a result of a desire to breed an extremely streamlined and aerodynamic dog—not one with an enhanced sense of smell," she says.

What dog has a big nose? ›

In the contest for which dog has the longest snout, the Borzoi, also known as the Russian wolfhound, wins by—what else? —a nose.


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