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We may take the trunk of an elephant for granted, so accustomed are we to seeing these iconic animals with their long agile noses arching with a spray of water. But when you stop to consider this oddest of dangling appendages, one quickly remembers what a curious animal part it is. Imagine having, essentially, a supernaturally strong skin-covered slinky attached to your face … one that can caress, has fine motor skills, and is so sensitive it can feel distant thunder from vibrations in the ground.

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