In general, a proboscis (from Greek προ, "pro" "before" and βοσκειν, "boskein" "to feed" also known as probiscus) is an elongated appendage from the head of an animal cite web | url = | title = proboscis | accessdate = 2008-07-27. The most common usage is to refer to the tubular feeding and sucking organ of certain invertebrates like insects, worms (including proboscis worms) and molluscs. The elephant's trunk is also called a proboscis. An abnormal facial appendage that sometimes accompanies ocular and nasal abnormalities is also called a proboscis. The term is used for primate organs as well: an elongated human nose is sometimes facetiously called a proboscis and the Proboscis Monkey is named for its enormous nose.

The correct Greek plural is "proboscides", but in English it is more common to simply add "-es", forming "proboscises".

Notable mammals with some form of proboscis are:
*Members of the elephant family (see elephant trunk).
*Elephant shrews
*Proboscis Monkey

ee also


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  • Proboscis — Pro*bos cis, n.; pl. {Proboscides}. [L. fr. Gr. ?; ? before + ? to feed, graze.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A hollow organ or tube attached to the head, or connected with the mouth, of various animals, and generally used in taking food or drink; a snout; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • proboscis — [pʀɔbɔsis] n. m. ÉTYM. 1906, in Rev. gén. des sc., no 21, p. 955; mot lat., du grec. → Proboscide. ❖ ♦ Sc. nat. Organe en forme de trompe, chez certains insectes. || « On appelle proboscis la partie allongée de l appareil buccal des insectes :… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • proboscis — (n.) c.1600, elephant s trunk, from L. proboscis (Pliny), from Gk. proboskis elephant s trunk, lit. means for taking food, from pro forward (see PRO (Cf. pro )) + boskein to nourish, feed, from boskesthai graze, be fed, from stem *bot (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • Proboscis — (gr.), so v.w. Rüssel …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • proboscis — ► NOUN (pl. probosces, proboscides, or proboscises) 1) the nose of a mammal, especially when long and mobile like an elephant s trunk. 2) an elongated sucking organ or mouthpart of an insect or worm. ORIGIN Greek proboskis means of obtaining food …   English terms dictionary

  • proboscis — [prō bäs′is] n. pl. proboscises or proboscides [prō bäs′ə dēz΄] [L < Gr proboskis < pro , before + boskein, to feed, graze, prob. akin to bous, COW1] 1. an elephant s trunk, or a long, flexible snout, as of a tapir 2. any tubular organ for… …   English World dictionary

  • proboscis —   n. (pl. cises or    ♦ cides ) long snout; prominent nasal organ.    ♦ proboscidal,    ♦ proboscidiform, a. like a proboscis.    ♦ proboscidate,    ♦ proboscidial, proboscidiferous, a. having a proboscis.    ♦ proboscidean, proboscidian, n. & a …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • proboscis — UK [prəʊˈbɒsɪs] / US [prəˈbɑsɪs] noun [countable] Word forms proboscis : singular proboscis plural proboscises or proboscides biology 1) a) the long nose of some animals, for example an elephant s trunk b) humorous someone s large nose 2) a long… …   English dictionary

  • proboscis — n. 1 the long flexible trunk or snout of some mammals, e.g. an elephant or tapir. 2 the elongated mouth parts of some insects. 3 the sucking organ in some worms. 4 joc. the human nose. Phrases and idioms: proboscis monkey a monkey, Nasalis… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Proboscis — Rüsselspitze eines Elefanten Ursprünglich bedeutet Rüssel (griech. Proboscis) bei Tieren eine verlängerte, fleischige Nase mit den Nasenlöchern am unteren, freien Ende. Im weiteren Sinne bezeichnet der Begriff die in ähnlicher Art verlängerten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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