Do animals get suntanned?

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do animals get suntanned?
« on: 11/06/2007 12:39:41 »
I've seen animals such as elephants, rhinos & hippos in zoos in the UK & in the wild in Africa (I chose those animals as examples as they are not covered in dense fur) but I've not noticed any significant difference in colour. Does this mean that they don't get suntanned?
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Offline dentstudent

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Do animals get suntanned?
« Reply #1 on: 11/06/2007 12:47:42 »
Pigs get sun-burned in the same way that we do, which is why they cover themselves in mud. Not sure about their melanin - perhaps as they do not "tan", they don't have any?

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do animals get suntanned?
« Reply #2 on: 11/06/2007 13:04:15 »
Pigs get sun-burned in the same way that we do, which is why they cover themselves in mud. Not sure about their melanin - perhaps as they do not "tan", they don't have any?

Good point. Is that, do you think, because they are similar to humans?
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Offline dentstudent

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Do animals get suntanned?
« Reply #3 on: 11/06/2007 13:26:51 »
In more ways than one!

I found this about hippos - they seem to exude their own suncream!

http://www.stlzoo.org/animals/abouttheanimals/mammals/hoofedmammals/hippopotamus.htm

Elephants also get sunburned, and do the same with mud as pigs, or find shade.

http://www.elephants.com/photoalbum/mudpic3.htm

Still no answer about tanning though. Although melanin appears in other organisms, it doesn't seem to be linked to higher animals and skin colouration.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do animals get suntanned?
« Reply #4 on: 11/06/2007 13:31:13 »
I know elephants blow dust over themselves & roll in mud.

I actually saw pink elephants in Kenya. It was near Marsabit, in northern Kenya, east of Lake Turkana. The dirt is red there & during daylight the elephants take on a red hue. At dusk, however, they can appear pink!
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Offline dentstudent

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Do animals get suntanned?
« Reply #5 on: 11/06/2007 13:41:45 »
Pink elephants?!?!?! Are you sure it wasn't you that had had too much sun? (or anything else?) ;-)

That must have been a sight!


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Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do animals get suntanned?
« Reply #6 on: 11/06/2007 13:45:01 »
Well, maybe I had imbibed a certain amount of Tusker beer & chewed a few muti leaves  [:I]
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