Zebras are symbolic with their unique coats, zebra Is there a black stripe on white or is there a white stripe on black?
The stunning black-and-white color of zebra skins stands out in stark contrast to the dry brown and green treeless grasslands and savanna forests of their home territories in East and Southern Africa. African Wildlife Foundation..
These stripes are unique to each individual. There are three zebra species alive today — plain zebras (Ekuskagga), Mountain zebra (E. Zebra) And Grevy’s zebra (E. Grevy) —And each of those species also has a different striped pattern. For some, the dark areas of the skin are black, while others are brown, some have stripes only on the body, and the feet have stripes. is not. An extinct subspecies of the plains zebra called the quagga (E. quagga quagga) Said that there were minimal stripes on the head, mane, and neck. Quagga Project..
Despite these different patterns and colors, all zebras have the same skin color: Black, said Tim Caro, a behavioral and evolutionary ecologist and conservation biologist at the University of California, Davis. However, this does not answer the question of whether their fur is black with white stripes or vice versa. To do this, we need to look at zebra melanocytes, or cells that produce fur pigments.
Zebras have dark skin, but a variety of developmental processes determine the color of their fur, much like a light-skinned person has black hair. In fact, zebras actually have lighter colored hair than dark — their bellies are usually light — so zebras may look white with black stripes.
But that’s not the case. The reasons are as follows: According to a 2005 review, all hair (both light and dark) grows from hair follicles filled with melanocyte cells. Journal of Investigative Dermatology.. These cells produce the pigments that determine the color of hair and skin. This pigment is known as melanin. High melanin results in dark colors such as dark brown and black, while low melanin results in light colors such as hazel and blonde. Live Science previously reported.. The black fur of Zebras is packed with melanin, but melanin is essentially absent from the white fur because the hair follicles that make up the white hair streaks “off” the melanocytes.
The production of melanin from melanocytes is “prevented during the development of white hair, but not the development of black hair,” Caro told Live Science in an email. In other words, for zebras, the animal’s default state produces black hair, which is blackened with white stripes. According to Britannica..
The exact biological process behind the zebra stripes is unknown, but in African striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio), Genes with bright and dark stripes running along the furry body Alx3 According to the journal’s 2016 survey, it is more active along the bright stripes than the dark stripes. Nature.. Alx3 Researchers have found that it effectively shuts down the master regulator gene responsible for the development of melanocytes, leading to light-colored hair.
So why is Zebra black with white stripes? According to a study by Caro and his colleagues, this unique pattern may prevent flies from biting. In a study published in the journal in 2020 Bulletin of the Royal Society B, They found that African Abu landed less often on horses wearing striped or checked rugs than horses on plain rugs. These stinging flies can carry a fatal disease for zebras.
“There are really few contrasting striped mammals like zebras,” Caro said. “NS Okapi There are wrinkle-like stripes, but no other species has distinct black and white stripes. My guess is that the fly deterrent function is unique to horses, as it is very sensitive to the diseases carried by certain stinging flies in Africa. “
Originally published in Live Science.
Is the zebra a black and white stripe or a black and white stripe?
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