Using the trunk to point toward or sniff toward an individual, object or scent of interest. The trunk is held relatively straight and pointed in the direction of the object of interest. While the assumption has been that this behavior indicates that the individual is sniffing, we changed the term from Sniff-Toward to Trunk-Toward, because we believe that the behavior may, sometimes, serve a visual signalling function, as in drawing the attention of others to an individual or object of interest. All age/sex groups engage in Trunk-Toward.

References: Rasmussen & Schulte 1998; Poole 1999a; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011 [Sniff-Toward/Hovering-Sniff]. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Attentive, Birth, Calf Reassurance & Protection, Conflict & Confrontation, Submissive, Vigilance


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (1)

Noyeau of the ND family has a newborn and everyone in the family is excited. The infant goes over to another large adult female Nekeisha and Noyeau gently Pushes and Tusks her out of the way to retrieve her infant. At this moment the rest of the family arrives and reaches Trunk-Toward the infant. A juvenile female gives a Social-Trumpet and there is Rumbling and a bit of a kerfuffle, Noyeau Head-Shakes. They turn and all go off together. (Amboseli, Kenya)