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Some more zebras

Again, a nice little clump of zebras:



Note here how brown the baby zebra's stripes are:



Occasionally I have pondered the big zebra question: is a zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes? Since the black stripes taper off to a point as they reach the stomach and inside of their legs such that the stomach and inside of the rear legs are white, I'd say that supports the white with black stripes theory. A shakier argument is related to the fact the stripes start out brown and turn black with age since it seems much more far fetched that the background color would change instead of the ornamentation color.

I wonder if very old zebras get grey? And I mean the black part not the white part!

And now back to our regularly scheduled program. Here are some wading in the water and then leaving, with a wildebeest among them:




And then there is Timothy who wasn't on this trip even though he lobbied to go but because he had no birth certificate he couldn't get a passport.


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They are just amazing to look at. Your questions are good ones. Teddy doesn't know? or he's not telling?

I really love all these pics from your trip.

(Deleted comment)
I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 that I bought several years ago. I chose it because it had pretty good reviews, has a 12x zoom, and it pretty light. + 4.5 gb memory, a spare battery (it is proprietary), and charger.

I usually boost the contrast a bit before posting.

I am apparently wrong about the stripes.

According to Wikipedia

Stripes
Zebras are black or dark animals with white stripes and their bellies have a large white blotch for camouflage purposes.[2] Some zebras have brown "shadow stripes" in between the white and black coloring.
Zebras are described as black with white stripes rather than the reverse for the following three reasons:[3]
White equids would not survive well in the African plains or forests.
The quagga, an extinct Plains zebra subspecies, had the zebra striping pattern in the front of the animal, but had a dark rump.
When the region between the pigmented bands becomes too wide, secondary stripes emerge, as if suppression was weakening.
The fact that some zebras have pure white bellies and legs is not very strong evidence for a white background, since many animals of different colors have white or light colored bellies and legs.

2. Gould, S. J. (1983) Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.
3. Re: Is a zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes?

I did have a vague memory of a Gould piece about the striping of zebras, but I couldn't remember which collection it was in. Now I'll have to check our copy (when/if I can find it) for the companion essay with the fascinating title "What, if Anything, is a Zebra?" (Since I don't remember the answer to that question, either.)

John, these are great pictures. When do we get to see more elephants?
No, really, very beautiful.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that someone did a genetic test on zebras and determined that they are black animals with white stripes.

Wikipedia (which is not considered an authoritative source by the ALA) states:
Zebras are black or dark animals with white stripes and their bellies have a large white blotch for camouflage purposes.[2] Some zebras have brown "shadow stripes" in between the white and black coloring.

Zebras are described as black with white stripes rather than the reverse for the following three reasons:[3]

White equids would not survive well in the African plains or forests.
The quagga, an extinct Plains zebra subspecies, had the zebra striping pattern in the front of the animal, but had a dark rump.
When the region between the pigmented bands becomes too wide, secondary stripes emerge, as if suppression was weakening.
The fact that some zebras have pure white bellies and legs is not very strong evidence for a white background, since many animals of different colors have white or light colored bellies and legs.


I reckon one can do reams of research on this topic.

Some more elephants are coming up soon.

Right now I am reading Among the Elephants by Iain Douglas-Hamilton which is a fascinating study in the late '60s about the elephants in Lake Manyara park (where we stayed one night).

Note that the references in the Wikipedia article are pretty good. There's Steven Gould and a zoologist with a number of other references.

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