sign up (free!)
Also on these boards
Since African elephants live where the sun is usually blazing hot, they use their trunks to help them keep cool. First they squirt a trunkful of cool water over their bodies. Then they often follow that with a sprinkling of dust to create a protective layer of dirt on their skin (think elephant sunscreen!). Elephants pick up and spray dust the same way they do water—with their trunks.
Elephants typically have grey skin, but African elephants look brown or reddish after wallowing in coloured mud. Asian elephants have some patches of depigmentation, particularly on the forehead and ears and the areas around them. An elephant uses mud as a sunscreen, protecting its skin from ultraviolet light. Although tough, an elephant's skin is very sensitive. Without regular mud baths to protect it from burning, insect bites and moisture loss, an elephant's skin suffers serious damage.