A mutual entwining of trunks. Trunk-Twining occurs in Social Play as a gentle contact form of Sparring, during which two elephants slowly and sinuously intertwine their trunks in a spiral. Trunk-Twining also occurs during Coalition Building and Affiliative contexts during High-Fiving and in a range of Bonding-Ceremonies between adult females, where the action can be more sudden and dramatic. In some cases the intertwining of trunks can be more like a sudden clasping of another’s trunk.

References: Moss 1981; Poole 1982: 35; Lee 1987; Moss 1988; Kahl & Armstrong 2000; Payne 2003; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Affiliative, Coalition Building, Social Play