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, pl.




(prō-bos'is, prō-bos'i-dēz, -sĕz),
1. A long flexible snout, such as that of a tapir or an elephant.
2. In teratology, a cylindric protuberance of the face that, in cyclopia or ethmocephaly, represents the nose.
[G. proboskis, a means of providing food, fr. pro- + boskein, to feed]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


(prō-bŏs′ĭs, -kĭs)
n. pl. pro·boscises or pro·boscides (-bŏs′ĭ-dēz′)
1. A long flexible snout or trunk, as of an elephant.
2. A slender, tubular organ in the head region of an invertebrate, such as certain insects and worms, usually used for sucking or piercing.
3. A human nose, especially a prominent one.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


  1. the elongated snout of a tapir or elephant.
  2. the elongated mouthparts of some insects.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"When bees detect the presence of explosives, they simply stick their proboscis out," research scientist Tim Haarmann told Reuters in a telephone interview.
To confirm a moth species as a pollinator, it has to be caught with orchid pollinia attached to its proboscis. Previous pollinator identification studies in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin identified the pandorus sphinx (Eumorpha pandorus), achemon sphinx (Eumorpha achemon), and hermit sphinx (Sphinx eremitus) hawkmoths as pollinators (Cuthrell 1994, Cuthrell et al.
Since a butterfly's proboscis is not as long as a hummingbird's tongue, short, tubular flowers are more appropriate for attracting butterflies.
Butterflies also have 4 wings, but instead of a mouth, they have a straw-like proboscis -- useful for reaching into flowers to sip nectar.
But proboscis monkeys don't seem to be able to smell any better than monkeys with short noses.
The evolution of this trait can readily be understood in terms of a mechanism that was suggested by Darwin (1862) and later developed and tested by Nilsson (1978, 1988): selection will favor longer corolla tubes or spurs when they cause the pollinator to insert its entire proboscis into the flower and thus pick up and deposit pollen firmly with its face.
Several studies have suggested that foraging specialization in some bumble bees is based on the match between the proboscis length of the bees and the corolla tube length of the plants (Heinrich, 1976; Inouye, 1980; Harder, 1985), as the length of the proboscis determines the depth of corolla tube that can be foraged, as well as the overall rate of nectar ingestion (Harder 1983a).
Baby proboscis monkeys' are born with tiny upturned noses, blue faces, and silver-blue fur.
When a corn earworm moth finds a tasty treat, it begins to feed by extending a long tube, the proboscis, that is normally coiled against its head.
The seventh line, a ring of gold claws, sickle-shaped, a coiled proboscis, and the head, shining, pulling a swollen body free.