Animals With Big Noses (17 Amazing Big-Nosed Creatures)

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

We use our noses to breathe and smell. However, to some animals, noses mean much more than that.

Do you notice the trumpeting nose of an elephant?

Or the digging snout of a pig? This feature sets such species apart from other animals while also helping them eat and dig.

We will discuss some animals with big noses and how they use their noses.

There are many big-nosed animals, so we will divide them into two groups: sea and land species.

I can’t name them all, but my list has the most popular ones.

Let’s dig into the animal world.

Sea animals with big noses

The following animals use their big nose to breathe in the water, smell food, and sense predators nearby.

Pig-nose turtle

The pig-nose turtle, also known as the fly river turtle, is a pitted-shelled species living in New Guinea and Australia.

Male turtles have longer tails than females, making males and females readily distinguishable.

These turtles are so named because they have a large snout with large, wide, meaty nostrils that resemble pigs’ snouts.

Surprisingly, their sense of smell is outstanding, which aids in searching for food and may help them breathe underwater.

Pig-nose turtle


Manatees are sea cows, herbivorous marine creatures that eat both freshwater and saltwater plants. Surprisingly, they weigh roughly 600 kilograms.

Even though manatees live in the water, they do not have gills like fish. As marine animals, though, they normally breathe through nostrils at the end of a huge snout.


Blobfish, also called smooth-head blobfish, is a deep-sea fish that lives about 4,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. They live in Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand’s deep seas.

They don’t have a nose, nostrils, or lungs, but a nose-like part on their head that forms after they rise out of the water.

The blobfish has jelly-like skin that stretches under low pressure instead of a muscle and skeleton.


Sawfishes, sometimes known as carpenter sharks, are fish with flattened, long snouts. They mainly live in the Gulf of Mexico, New York, the Caribbean, and Africa.

They have nostrils and a mouth on the bottom of their head, and a protruding nose named the rostrum.

The sawfish’s rostrum is a long nose-like structure aligned with sharp saw-like teeth.

The ampullary pores of its saw-shaped rostrum are susceptible to the electric field and assist the fish in sensing and detecting prey and predators.


Longnose gar

The longnose gar is a bony fish, a member of the ray-finned fish family. The gars live mostly in the USA and some other parts of the world.

You will quickly notice its needle-shaped nose. It is actually a longitudinally modified jaw that can stretch three times its head’s length.

Long-nosed chimera

This cartilaginous fish lives at the ocean depths of 500 to 6,000 feet. You can find it all over the world other than in the Antarctic.

The fish will be roughly 6 meters long when they reach adulthood, having big heads with nostrils and big green eyes that can see things in dark and deep waters.

As their name suggests, they have a conical-shaped nose with multiple sensory receptors for locating fish.

Elephant seal

Elephant seals are enormous carnivores that may weigh up to 4,000 kilograms. They live in Mexico, California, Alaska, etc.

Male seals have a snout that resembles the elephant’s trunk. They use their nose to make loud noises to scare off their male competitors and attract their female mates. The noses can also absorb moisture.

Land animals with big noses

There are more land big-nosed animals. They take advantage of their features for different purposes.


Elephants are the biggest land mammals. These herbivores live in many regions globally, such as Asia and Africa.

Elephants have a long, muscular trunk, weighing up to 130 kilograms and lifting things weighing up to 250 kilograms.

A trunk may grow to be six to eight feet long, with about 40,000 muscles and a nose that is two inches in diameter.

Elephants can sense water up to 12 kilometers away and use their trunks for many tasks, including sniffing, trumpeting, breathing, drinking, grabbing, and holding items.

animals with big noses

Proboscis monkey

The proboscis monkey, sometimes called a long-nosed monkey, is a monkey with a huge nose. You can find these monkeys in Brunei, Malaysia, etc.

The nose of a proboscis monkey may reach seven inches. It can produce loud honks and intensify the calls to attract its female mate.


The mandrill is the world’s biggest monkey, belonging to the old-world monkey group found in Guinea, Gabon, Congo, and Cameroon.

Some people confuse the mandrills with baboons, although they come from a different group of Mandrillus monkeys.

Their nose is large and prominent, with thick stripes of red-pink and white. The color and size of its nose aid in developing dominance and the attraction of female partners.

Southern Tamandua

Southern tamandua is a solitary animal living in the Caribbean, Argentina, South America, and southern Brazil.

The tamanduas have a long, tapering nose through which a tongue of 12 to 16 inches may slide to catch termites, bees, and ants. The snouts of these animals have a good sense of smell.


The hippopotamus is the world’s third-biggest land animal, behind rhinos and elephants.

The hippopotamus is a mammal that lives in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia, and other parts of Africa.

They have a large head with a big nose, which allows them to breathe easily while immersed in water. They also cover their ears and nose to keep water out.

Malayan Tapir

Tapirs resemble elephants in functions and looks, especially when it comes to the trunk.

The tapir is a huge pig-like animal found in South America, Southeast Asia, and Central America with a long prehensile nose.

Their longnose looks like an elephant trunk but in a smaller size. The nose can grasp, pull, wrap, and hold foods.

Malayan Tapir


The aardvark is a nocturnal species found in Africa’s grasslands, rainforests, savannas, woods, and the Sahara.

They don’t have great eyesight, but a large pig-like snout developed for smelling the food, and a strong sense of smell allows them to search for food sources.


Pigs, along with all other types, are omnivorous mammals that live all over the world.

Pigs have huge, long heads with a powerful, blunt-shaped snout. Their snout has two nostrils for digging, manipulating items, looking for food, and even battling for female partners.

Apart from the nose, the aardvarks have some other distinctive features, such as a long tail and rabbit-like ears.


Anteaters, such as the Silky Anteater and the Giant Anteater, are toothless mammals that eat termites and ants.

These animals have long noses and tapering heads, which helps them detect smells better.

Anteaters rely on their snouts to find food because their small ears and limited eyesight can’t help.

Saiga Antelope

The last big-nosed animal on the list is the Saiga antelope, a huge herbivore mammal in Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and other countries of Central Asia.

Saiga has prominent nostrils. Its nose helps keep dust at bay while also cooling the hot air in the summertime and warming the air in the cold.

Saiga Antelope

What Animal Has The Biggest Nose In The World?

Proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) have lengthy, pendulous noses exceeding 6.8 inches in length in senior males.

When this animal is in danger or aroused, its nose turns red and swollen. It works as a resonator when it produces its trademark honking alarm signal.

The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), on the other hand, has the biggest mammalian snout.

The blowhole on the sperm whale’s snout is really an enlarged left nostril located in the frontal part of the snout. On the other hand, the right nostril is not as large as the left.

You can more true facts about the proboscis monkeys right here:

Why Do Proboscis Monkeys Have Big Noses?

Male proboscis monkeys often have a bigger nose, which serves multiple functions, including:

  • Enhancing the quality of their mating calls
  • Increasing their attractiveness
  • Demonstrating their dominance
  • Raising their mating chance because the females feel more attracted to the large-nosed monkey.

These animals live in groups of 3 to 60 members. There is no evidence of significant violence in them, and if there is, it is small.

As you might expect, aggression is quite common, especially in monkeys with babies, and juveniles use aggression to defend themselves.

The monkeys are not dangerous, though, until threatened or provoked. When people laugh, for example, they feel scared because they can see human teeth.

Proboscis monkeys are famous for their loud mating and warning sounds. Their huge noses amplify the sounds to show power and attract female partners.

What Do You Call A Long Nose Of An Animal?

Often, we call an animal’s protruding, long nose a snout. However, we can’t use this title for all cases.

For example, the elephant’s nose is long, but we call it a “trunk.” A horse’s nose is seldom referred to as a snout as its entire face is long.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have mentioned some big-nosed animals. If you find this topic interesting and want to know more about it, let’s check the answers to the following questions!

What animal looks like a pig with a long nose?

It’s the tapir. Although this species looks like a pig, it belongs to the same group as horses and rhinos. The trunks of tapirs are essentially a long lip and nose.

What animal looks like an elephant?

The most notable characteristic of an elephant is its trunk. So, whatever animal has a trunk, it looks like an elephant. Some examples are:

  • Tapirs
  • Saiga antelopes
  • Giant anteaters
  • Wild boars
  • Elephant seals
  • Aardvarks
  • Proboscis monkeys

What’s the closest relative to an elephant?

Some people have claimed that hyraxes are the elephant’s closest living relative. However, this belief is questionable.

According to molecular- and morphological-based classifications, the sirenians are the closest relatives of elephants.

Where is an elephant’s nose?

Its trunk is both a nose and an upper lip with two nostrils. Asian elephants have one finger at the tip of their trunks, while African variants have two.


Big-nosed animals use their nose for smelling, breathing, detecting smells, and even attracting their partners. This feature is helpful for both sea and wild species.

Hopefully, you have a fun time discovering the animal world. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading.