Today’s Fact: Why zebras have stripes?

Zebras can be told apart from horses and asses by the stripes on their bodies.  There are many species of zebra-Burchell’s, mountain and Grevy’s-and they all have different patterns of stripes.

Zebra coloring is a form of camouflage. When predators stalk a herd, they target one weak, injured or young animal which they will then kill.

Zebra roam the African plains in large herds, and when they are close together the pattern formed makes it very difficult to spot each zebra individually. This form of camouflage is called ‘disruptive coloration. The predator cannot easily pick out a ‘target’ for a meal. All he sees is a mass of black-and –white patterns.

If you visit a zoo, observe a zebra closely. Does it have black stripes on a white background or white stripes on a black background?

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