An intricate network of crevices adorns the skin surface of the African bush elephant. By retaining water, these micrometer-wide channels greatly help elephants in regulating their body temperature. Today, researchers report that African elephant skin channels are true fractures of the animal brittle and desquamation-deficient skin outermost layer. The scientists show that the elephant hyperkeratinised skin grows on a lattice of millimetric elevations, causing its fracture due to local bending mechanical stress.