Animals like the aardvark, elephant, and proboscis monkey possess notably large noses, using them for tasks ranging from foraging for food to attracting mates. This list of 20 creatures underscores the diverse advantages and unique functionalities of their distinct facial features.
These animals have special noses that help them live and survive in their environments. Their noses can do many things, like finding food or talking to other animals, showing us the amazing ways nature helps creatures fit into their world.
The aardvark is a mammal from Africa that’s known for digging tunnels in the ground. It has a long nose, similar to a pig’s, that it uses to smell and find ants and termites, its main food. This unique nose also helps it breathe while it’s burrowing, and its strong legs and sharp claws make digging easier.
The babirusa is an animal from Indonesia that looks a bit like a pig. It stands out because of its two big tusks that curl upwards, a noticeable large nose, and sharp teeth. These tusks can even grow so long that they curve back toward the animal’s forehead!
3. Black Rhinoceros
The black rhinoceros from Africa is known for its two prominent horns on a wide, sturdy nose. This broad nose, combined with its horns, offers protection and is sometimes used in clashes with other creatures. Characterized by thick skin and a robust frame, the black rhino’s distinctive nose sets it apart.
The bushpig is a type of wild pig that lives in the forests and grasslands of Africa. It has a distinctive long snout and sharp tusks.
Besides using its tusks for digging up roots and tubers to eat, the bushpig also uses them to protect itself from predators. They are nocturnal, which means they’re most active at night, and they often travel in small groups.
Dugongs, often called “sea cows,” are big water mammals mainly found near Australia and the Arabian Gulf. They have a big snout with a split in the middle, which they use to eat seagrass from the ocean floor. These gentle creatures mostly eat plants and are known to gracefully glide through the water.
Elephants, the giant mammals found in Africa and Asia, have a unique long trunk. They use this trunk like a hand: to drink water, pick up food, and even lift objects. Their big ears help keep them cool, and they are known for their strong family bonds and good memory.
7. Elephant Seals
Elephant seals, big sea animals found in the Pacific Ocean, have a standout feature: a large, extended nose or “proboscis.” They use this unique nose to make loud calls, especially during mating season. These seals are named after elephants because their noses remind people of an elephant’s trunk.
8. Elephant Shrew
The elephant shrew, a tiny mammal from Africa, has a long, extended nose similar to an elephant’s trunk. This unique nose helps it sniff and find food, like insects. Despite its name, it’s not closely related to shrews but shares a distant relation with actual elephants!
9. Gambian Pouched Rat
The Gambian pouched rat is a big rodent native to Africa. It’s easily spotted by its notably large snout. This rat uses its special snout to sniff out food and is even trained in some places to detect landmines because of its keen sense of smell.
10. Giant Anteater
The giant anteater, a big mammal from Central and South America, has a unique long snout. This snout is like a built-in vacuum, helping it sniff and slurp up ants and termites, its favorite foods. With a bushy tail and sharp claws, it’s perfectly adapted to dig into insect mounds.
11. Hammerhead Shark
The hammerhead shark, a big hunter in the ocean, has a head shaped like a hammer, which is how it got its name. This unique head has a wide nose that’s great for picking up scents, helping the shark track down its food easily. Their wide-set eyes also give them a better visual range to spot prey.
12. Longnose Gar
The Longnose gar is a fish known for its long, pointy nose filled with sharp teeth. This design makes it easy for them to quickly snatch and bite their prey. Found in freshwater, their distinct nose and teeth set them apart from other fish.
13. Long-Beaked Echidna
The long-beaked echidna is a little mammal with a standout long nose. Found mainly in New Guinea, it uses this snout to burrow and find its favorite foods: ants and termites. But it doesn’t stop there; it also munches on earthworms, moth larvae, and other tiny bugs.
The mandrill is a bright-colored primate from Africa, known for its vibrant face. It has a prominent nose and long canine teeth. This striking appearance, combined with its strong build, makes it one of the most recognizable monkeys. Besides their looks, they’re also the largest monkeys in the world.
15. Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis monkeys, found mainly in Borneo, have a long, droopy nose that’s hard to miss. This oversized nose is believed to help amplify their calls, making it easier to woo potential partners. These monkeys also have a pot-bellied look and are good swimmers, often seen leaping into rivers from trees.
The sawfish is an impressive fish, known for its long, flat snout lined with sharp teeth, resembling a saw blade. Found in tropical and subtropical waters, this unique “saw” helps them hunt by slashing at schools of fish. Despite their fearsome appearance, they are generally not a threat to humans.
17. South American Coati
The South American coati is a nimble creature with a long, flexible snout resembling that of a pig. Native to Central and South America, this snout proves handy when rummaging through leaves and crevices, searching for their favorite foods like insects, fruits, and small vertebrates. They’re also known for their bushy tails and agile tree-climbing abilities.
18. Sperm Whale
The sperm whale, the largest of the toothed whales, is recognizable by its enormous head, which makes up about a third of its body length. Found throughout the world’s oceans, this giant mammal’s extended nose houses a special organ filled with a waxy substance called spermaceti, once hunted for making candles and oil. Their powerful sonar helps them hunt deep-sea creatures like giant squid.
19. Star-Nosed Mole
The star-nosed mole is a tiny mammal, unique for its unusual nose made up of 22 fleshy tentacles forming a star shape. Found mainly in North America’s wetlands, this distinct nose is super-sensitive, helping the mole detect and catch small prey like insects and worms in record time, often in mere milliseconds!
The tapir, native to regions in Asia and Central and South America, is a hefty mammal with a distinct, flexible snout. This elongated nose acts like a handy tool, helping them grasp leaves, fruits, and shoots. When tapirs take to the water, which they’re surprisingly good at, they can use this snout like a snorkel, allowing them to breathe while mostly submerged.
Animals with large noses exhibit a range of purposes. Locating food, attracting mates, or self-defense, these creatures prove a sizable snout is both distinctive and advantageous.