Zebras live in herds and are in constant danger because lions like to feast on them. The striking stripe pattern looks like an invitation as it is extremely different from the surroundings. It’s like a call ’Hey it’s me, your prey, come here, eat me’. But do predators see zebras like this? If yes, Why do zebras have stripes? What are the advantages of eccentric fur? Let’s find out.
The zebra looks like a horse in a prisoner suit, its stripe pattern makes it one of the most striking animals in the world. Such eccentric fashion is not uncommon in the animal kingdom. Giraffe, leopard, tiger, and many other animals also have a distinctive fur pattern.
But is that just nature’s impulsive decision or is there a reason for it. Let’s see why do Zebras have Stripes?
Even if these drawings on these animals appear very striking at first glance, it is a form of camouflage. Many animals, both predators, and prey make themselves as invisible as possible to gain the advantage to survive.
The easiest way is to adapt to the background as much as possible, like a green frog in the green leaves. But zebras or leopards use a different camouflage process called somatolysis. When viewed from a distance, the patterns blur the contours of the body against the background.
In the vastness of the barren land like the savannah with its shrubs and the shimmering heat, zebras are barely recognizable to the lion or other predators.
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If You Want to See a Leopard, You Have to go After The Tail
If you want to find a leopard in the trees of the savannah, you have to look for an acacia tree with a branch hanging vertically downwards. You should not go near the branch because that’s the leopard tail. The rest of the spotted big cat merges with the structure of the tree.
This system is not only used by animals. The military also appreciates the camouflage effect of patterns. Many uniforms have a stain-like pattern so that the soldiers do not stand out in the field but are in sync with their environment.
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Another contradictory question arises that the lion is a solid color, but why does the leopard have dots. The rule of thumb applies to the answer to the question. The denser the habitat of each cat species is, the more likely it is that the species will have a strongly patterned fur.
This can also be seen in the lion and leopard where the monochrome lion prefers to live in open grasslands, while the spotted leopard often stays in the trees.