Skin diseases often occur, from which they try to protect themselves by taking mud baths, shower one another with water from the trunk, and rolling in dust. The skin can therefore appear brown or reddish, but the natural color is light gray. Their coarse and wrinkled skin is sparsely bristled, and about 1 inch (25 mm) thick. There are also rare white elephants, who often have blue eyes. Otherwise elephants have brown eyes, surrounded by long lashes. They have large ears that wave for cooling, and a relatively small tail with a brush at its tip. Walking at a normal pace an elephant covers about 2 to 4 miles an hour (3 to 6 km/h) but they can reach 24 miles an hour (40 km/h) at full speed.














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An elephant can use its trunk for a variety of purposes. This one is wiping its eye.Elephants are vegetarians, spending 16 hours a day collecting plant food. Their diet is at least 50% grasses, supplemented with leaves, twigs, bark, roots, and small amounts of fruits, seeds and flowers. Because elephants only use 40% of what they eat they have to make up for their digestive system's lack of efficiency in volume. An adult elephant can consume 300 to 600 pounds (140 to 270 kg) of food a day. 60% of that food leaves the elephant's body undigested.

Images 1Through 3 Are Courtesy Of The US Fish and Wildlife Service
Images 3 Though 18 Are Courtesy of Scotch Macaskill














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