Proboscis
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British pronunciation/pɹəbˈɒskɪs/
American pronunciation/pɹoʊˈbɑsəs/
Proboscis
01

an elongated and specialized nose or snout found in certain mammals

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proboscis definition and meaning

What is a "proboscis"?

A proboscis is a long, flexible appendage or organ found in certain animals and some mammals. It is typically located on the head and is used for various functions such as feeding, drinking, sensing, or manipulating objects. The proboscis of an elephant, known as a trunk, is a highly versatile and muscular organ that serves multiple purposes, including grasping objects, lifting, smelling, and even making sounds. The length and structure of a proboscis can vary greatly across species, but its adaptability and specialized functions make it a remarkable adaptation for these animals to interact with their environment in unique ways.

02

a long, tubular feeding organ found in many insects, such as butterflies, moths, and flies, which is used to suck up nectar, other liquids, or in some cases, blood

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What is a "proboscis"?

A proboscis is a tubular and flexible mouthpart located in the head region, typically composed of two long and slender structures called maxillae. It is used for various purposes, primarily for feeding and obtaining nectar or other liquids from flowers. The proboscis can be extended to reach deep into flowers or other food sources, and it may also serve as a sensory organ to detect chemicals and tastes. In some insects, such as butterflies and moths, the proboscis is coiled when not in use and can be unfurled when needed for feeding, while in others, like mosquitoes, it is sharp and adapted for piercing the skin of hosts to obtain blood meals. The proboscis is a crucial adaptation that allows insects to access and exploit diverse food sources in their environment.

03

a prominent or unusually shaped nose

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04

*** (in some worms) an extensible tubular sucking organ

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Example
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Mosquitoes use their proboscis to sting and feed on the blood of their hosts.
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Definition & Meaning of "Proboscis"
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