Did You Know

All About Elephant Eyes

  • The eyeball of an elephant is similar in size to those of humans and is small for such a large animal.
  • Elephants and wild pigs are the only ungulates with round pupils.
  • Round pupils are normally associated with forest or shade-adapted animals.
  • Elephants have limited angles of vision with a superior ability to see forward rather than sideways or backward.
  • Eyesight is considered poor in bright light but in dim light movement can be detected at up to 45m.
  • Although elephants shed tears, no functional tear glands are present.
  • Tears exude from the Harderian gland which is meant to keep the third eyelid or nictitating membrane moist.
  • Elephants close their eyes when sleeping with most sleep taking place in the early morning and in the heat of the day.
  • Adult elephants can lie down to sleep but frequently doze while standing.
  • Source: Dr Michelle Henley
Kruger National Park - South African Safari
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