PROBOSCIS, the trunk of an elephant (Gr. 7rpo/3o(7K, irp6, before, /36<r/ceii>, to feed), the long flexible snout of the order of Mammalia called Proboscidea (q.v.), which embraces the elephant and its extinct allies the mammoths and mastodons. The term is also applied to the snout of the tapir and of the " kahan " or proboscis-monkey (Nasalis laroatus), and more particularly to the elongated parts of the mouth of various insects, such as the rostrum or beak of a rhynchophorus beetle, the antlia of Lepidoptera, the sucking mouth of the house-fly, etc. Various worms possess a tubular structure which can be extended at the anterior portion of the body, and some gastropods a sucking tongue, to both of which the name " proboscis " is applied.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)