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Elephant Eye, Close-up

Elephant eye, close-up Caption: Elephant's eye, close-up, Kapama Private Game Reserve, South Africa.© Scotch Macaskill

Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel (EOS 300D); Lens: Canon EF 80-200mm F/2.8L; Focal length: 200mm; Aperture F/2.8; Shutter-speed 1/640; ISO: 400.

The eyes of the African elephant are small in relation to the size of the head and ears. Eyesight is considered "mediocre", especially when compared to the elephant's acute hearing and excellent sense of smell.

Scientists believe the elephant's sight is most acute in twilight conditions. The iris if often surrounded by a white ring, which is a fatty layer called the Arcus scleralis, although its precise function is not known.

It's believed that the long eyelashes help to shade the eyes while also keeping mud out when elephants mud-bath or spray themselves with muddy water.

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