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Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Yes. That's the answer. A zebra can be white with black stripes or it can be black with white stripes. In fact, there are zebras with dark brown stipes and zebras that are either all white or all black.

Scientists believe there are two reasons for a zebra's stripes. The first is camouflage. Zebra stripes break up the outline of it's body, making it difficult for a predator to identify it. When a zebra is alone, moving among the tall grasses of the plains, it looks like wind-blwon grass and is difficult for a predator to see. A group of zebra will all huddle togehter, making it diffulct for a predator to single out one zebra Amid the mass of a moving stripes.

The second reason is to cool the zebra in the hot African sun. Zebras have a shiny coat that can dissipate up to 70 percent of the sun's heat. The black stripes can get hot than than the white stripes by as much as 50 degrees F.

Although there are eight types of zebras in the world, the three most well-known types are in Africa. Each type has a different style of stripes. The Grevy's Zebra is considered the most beautiful, because is has thin and closely spaced stripes. The Plains Zebra has a very wide vertical stripes that bend to become horizontal on the zebra's rump. The Mountain Zebras have broad black stripes that extend down the legs but don't cover the off-white belly.

Every zebra in the world has a unique pattern of stripes. There are no two alike, just as no two human fingerprints are alike. Zebras recognize each other by looking at the patterns of stripes.

Although a zebra's stripes make it a strikingly beautiful animal, they are not there for decoration but are designed to provide camouflage, cooling and identification.


When Plain Zebras are frightened, they gather together in a cluster so that the myriad moving stripes confuse predators. On the other hand, Grevys Zebras primarily use speed and stamina to escape predators. They can run as fast as 40 mph over reasonably long distances.

Virtually all attempts to domesticate zebras so they can be ridden or used as draft animals have failed.

When zebras are first born, they are brown and white. Within an hour after birth, the newborn can run as fast as the herd and can recognize its mother by sight.

When a herd of zebras is sleeping, one always stays awake and alert for predators. In effect, it is doing sentry duty.

If a family member becomes separated or lost for some reason, the other zebras in the family will search for it. The family will also adjust the speed of its travel so that the old and weak can keep up with the group.

Zebras in captivity have been sucdessfully mated with other equine species. Of course, the names always begin with letter z. A Zorse is the off spring of a zebra and a stallion and a horse mare. A Zonkey, sometimes called Zebrass, or a Zedonk,is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a female donkey.

(from the book: WHAT MAKES FLAMINGOS PINK by: Bill McLain)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:44 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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