A nose commonly consists of two nostrils and is a characteristic that is shared by most animals. There are many species of animals and almost all of them have different nose features. The most fundamental purpose of the nose is to facilitate smelling and to act as a passage through which air gets into the lungs.
Although a good number of animals use their noses solely for the two functions, some have extraordinary or big noses. Animals with big noses attribute their looks to evolutionary changes that have occurred over a long period of time to serve other purposes like feeding. Here is a list of animals with big noses.
1. Elephant Shrew
This is a very small mammal that is only found in Africa. It has incredible eyesight and hearing capabilities. It is shockingly more related to elephants than it is to shrews. In addition, it possesses a very strong sense of smell due to its long nose. Its nose is very similar to that of an elephant except that it is a bit shrunk down and quite inflexible.
They mainly use their noses to scrape the ground in search of insects and other small invertebrates such as worms. Their thin, long tongues help them hunt and feed more effectively. They play a big role in the ecosystem by keeping the native bugs’ numbers in check.
Expert Tip: Elephant Shrews also use their big nose to monitor each other’s scents which then enables them to mark their territories.
This animal also has some similarities to the elephant but looking at its body, you can easily compare it with a pig. Their noses help with hunting as they have a very strong sense of smell. So powerful is their nose that their sense of smell cannot be compared to that of a dog.
They rely on their noses as a guide to where they can get insects. Their long noses can inhale a large number of insects and they ingest food without chewing. They also use their sharp claws to make tunnels into the ground in order to locate food. Their nose helps them move effectively in their environment which compensates for poor vision.
Over time, Aardvarks have developed the ability to block their nostrils completely to prevent things like soil and dust from clogging their noses as they spend most of their feeding time sticking their snouts into holes to get insects to eat.
3. Star-nosed Mole
This mole looks like a combination of a rat and an octopus. These animals’ faces are covered with an intense clump of tentacles that are highly concentrated with nerve endings. Its tentacles have more than a hundred thousand nerve endings which are quite interesting considering its small size.
They help it navigate through poorly lit tunnels and shallow waters which is the mole’s hunting ground and increase the sense of touch in its nose. This is to enable it to identify and find food in the least time possible. Moreover, their tentacles all move simultaneously and can come into contact with ten objects at the same time.
Their level of sensory capabilities is very clear-cut and cannot be compared to that of other species.
4. Proboscis Monkey
This monkey is known for its long protruding nose that is shaped like a bulb. Its nose can grow to a length of seventeen centimeters, particularly in males. Males tend to have bigger noses than their female counterparts which gives them an advantage when it comes to securing mating partners.
The bigger the nose, the higher the chances of attracting females’ attention. Their noses do not have another specific function apart from what is mentioned above. The nose is half a foot long and is usually correspondent to the size of their bodies. This means that a larger male can easily get rid of its competitors.
Studies show that the size of their nose is proportionate to their teeth. These monkeys have smaller canines that improve their feeding efficiency as they mainly feed on plants. This monkey has entered the list of endangered species which can be blamed on loss of habitat and human interference.
This animal’s resemblance to the elephant goes beyond just appearance. It has a long nose that looks like a trunk. Tapirs do not depend on their noses as a substitution for their poor vision. Despite them being nearly blind, they can maneuver their environment fairly well with the help of good hearing.
Without a doubt, their trunks increase their sense of smell to a small extent. The Tapirs trunk consists of an upper lip and the nose.
Expert Tip: Their long snouts are mainly used to pull leaves from trees and shrubs that are most times out of reach thus acting as a feeding tool.
They tend to retract their trunks back to expose their teeth so that they can trigger something known as the Flehmen response. This is essential for alerting them about everything related to their daily routines such as food sources and nearby threats. Tapirs also use their snouts as a snorkel for breathing while swimming.
This list cannot be complete without mentioning the elephant. Humans have always believed that they are the only species that make use of tools until the elephant proved them wrong. They can use their trunks in the most creative ways to perform different tasks employing clever techniques.
Their trunks can measure up to seven feet long and weigh up to 400 pounds. Just like the Tapir, its nose is made up of the fusion of an upper lip and a nose. They use their noses to grab leaves from trees and can be seen carrying heavy logs. They also scratch on their tough skin and shake flies away with their long noses.
Aside from acting as a tool to carry objects, the trunks are used to show affection to other members by touching them. Some species of elephants are known to use their trunks to track movements in the environment by placing them on the ground to trace vibrations from a distance.
The nose of the Sawfish is not essentially big. its shape is similar to that of a chainsaw. It is also very strange looking. Their noses are used for hunting or in simple terms, getting access to food. They mainly pass their noses through the sand at the bottom of the ocean to find something to eat.
Recent studies show that they use their mouth as a weapon to kill their targeted prey. Their nose can also act as a shield that protects them from predators who are warded off by their scary appearance. Sifting through sand is not the only technique that the Sawfish uses to hunt.
Their noses have small sensors implanted at the top to enable track the movement of other organisms which enables them to locate food. Although Sawfish is not likely to harm you, it is advisable to be careful around one as they can be aggressive when provoked or when they feel threatened.
8. Long-nosed Bandicoot
The long-nosed bandicoot is mainly found along the Australian shorelines. The size of this animal is almost equivalent to that of a rabbit and has quite a long nose. Their noses are of great advantage as they act as a tool for digging into the ground in search of insects and worms.
These animals are known to leave holes in the ground when hunting. They use their claws to scratch the soil off the ground then put their noses into the dug holes to get food. Just like many animals with big or long noses, the Bandicoot’s nose has played a huge role in its survival in the ecosystem.
When searching for food, it tends to make calling sounds with its snout as a result of poking the ground. As a result, it is sometimes referred to as snout poker. Due to evolutionary changes, the Bandicoot has gained the capability of diversifying its modes of movement.
They can walk around like other rodents or hop like kangaroos in some instances.
9. Domestic Pig
This animal is largely found in farms where it is domesticated for meat production and is commonly known as a pig. They have noticeably big noses which like most animals discussed in this article, that helps to increase their sense of smell. Although many people do not know this, pigs are exceptionally intelligent animals.
Expert Tip: Their nose is hard and helps them ravage through heaps to find food. Their high sense of smell helps to locate food easily. The length of the pig’s nose varies depending on its breed and body size. Males tend to be bigger in size and so do their noses.
Pigs love to play with mud and are thought to be very dirty animals but they only do this when it is really hot in order to cool down. They were previously treated as pests because of digging food out onto the ground thereby damaging crops.
The Mandrill is the world’s largest monkey and is distinct from other species due to its colorful nature. Its genital area is a blend of the colors blue. pink, purple, red, and scarlet. They mostly inhabit various forested areas and are less selective when it comes to feeding.
One cannot fail to notice their conspicuous long noses that are red in color. Males attract females with their noses during mating season. A nose that is more visibly red tends to attract females hence increasing the mating chances of a male. It may also play a role in finding food as this monkey is searching for food most of the time.
They mainly feed on nuts, fruits, and seeds. In Africa, this monkey is considered an endangered species due to its hunting and destruction of forests.
11. Longnose Gar
Just as its name suggests, this is a fish species with a very big nose. It is among the oldest species that live in the ocean. Their large noses are the reason why this animal does not have many predators but is sometimes hunted by birds. Its nose is lined with long and sharp teeth and looks like a beak.
The collaboration of teeth and snout ensures that it gets hold of its prey with a lot more ease. Females are generally longer than males and they do not stop growing throughout their lives. Their habitat and availability of food are the main determining factors of how long they can grow.
You cannot think about coming close to the Longnose Gar as you cannot be sure of whether it is going to attack or not. An attack can turn out to be deadly.
12. Pinocchio Frog
This spotted green frog was first discovered a few years ago and hence there is not so much information about it. It was discovered in the Foja Mountains of Indonesia which have not yet been occupied by man.
Their noses are pointy and very flexible. However, it is believed that their long noses come in handy when they are searching for mating partners. Its nose will lengthen up in the air when making a mating call to attract a potential female after which it will go back to its original size.
The nose also doubles as a sound amplification compartment that allows them to make very loud calls to other frogs which travel for long distances.
13. Elephant Seal
There are different species of seals but this particular one is named after the elephant because of its trunk-like nose. Nevertheless, their noses do not play the same roles as the elephant trunk. Elephant Seals use their noses to scare off their male rivals during the mating season.
This nose starts growing at the onset of sexual development which is anywhere from three to five years. They eventually fully develop within eight to nine years. The nose swells to an enormous size and gives off a very loud noise which is only characteristic of male seals.
Expert Tip: Their noses also act as a water storage point to avoid running out of body fluids as they have to move away from the shoreline as is the norm when the mating time comes.
This wild animal is a close relative of the domesticated pig. Their noses are not proportional to their body size as they tend to be very big compared to their overall size. Their noses are also a lot darker and more muscular compared to the domestic pig. It also has an elongated and rougher coat than the farm pig.
This big nose, like in many animals, plays a major role in its existence. Their nose helps them dig into the ground, lift and shift objects. This, therefore, enables them to access food for nourishment. In the wild, food can be very scarce and their good sense of smell allows them to detect food sources quickly and easily.
15. South American Coati
There are a number of Coati species with the South American Coati having the largest nose. Surprisingly, these animals are associated with bears but their nose makes them look distinct. They make their homes on trees which serve as a source of food as they eat leaves.
The Coati also finds safety at the tree branches as they are protected from predators while sitting up there. These omnivores feed on plants and small animals. Their long nose is a feeding tool just like most animals with big noses.
They use their good sense of smell to identify food and to dig the ground for insects and other organisms from beneath rotting logs.
16. Black rhinoceros
The rhinoceros is a highly endangered species that are mostly hunted for its horns which are used for Chinese traditional medicines and ivory. They have a very large nose that is quite obvious. They also have large horns that are located right on top of their noses.
These horns help them fight away predators and protect themselves from other impending dangers. Male rhinoceros are relatively larger in size than females. Rhinos have a pretty good sense of smell which aids their feeding. They mainly feed on vegetation and graze the lands for grass and roots.
They can smell predators from a distance hence avoiding a bad situation in good time. Recent studies prove that these animals have good eyesight. They were previously thought to have very poor vision.
Nature has provided the earth with very beautiful animals whose unique features cannot be taken for granted. The most common functions of big noses that can be derived from this article include: locating or accessing food and mating which are the most important functions in the animal kingdom.
This is because they both increase the chances of survival within a species. Humans can make changes to their nose features through surgical procedures to enhance their looks but for the animals, functionality surpasses any other thing. Consequently, it would not be fair to refer to an animal as ugly simply because of its big nose.