As these two African elephants play in the river, they are splashing about and having fun tussling with one another. The elephant on the left is standing and has its ears raised outwards, flapping and making a fuss. The elephant on the right is above the water up to its shoulders during its parade. Its trunk curls inwards. Both elephants have a dark complexion due to the moisture from the water.
Social interactions and communications between herd members are common uses for their trunks. A mother and calf show much caressing. Other social interactions may include greeting and demonstrations of dominance or submission using many different trunk postures and movements. They use their trunks mainly to dig for food like tree roots. The defense is another primary purpose of their trunks. In encounters during fights for dominance, they can use tusks to stab opponents. Indeed, they even use their tusks to dig holes in the ground to retrieve groundwater in times of severe drought.
Other social interactions may include greeting and demonstrations of dominance or submission via various trunk postures.
African elephants, Loxodonta africana, are listed in the category vulnerable on the IUCN list.
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