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Do all zebras have the same coat pattern?

No, the various species of zebra Burchell’s, mountain and Grevy’s-all have different coat patterns. (So also, do the various subspecies such as Chapman’s.) Thus, although all zebras look superficially the same, scientists can tell them apart by comparing the width of the stripes and the overall patterning.

Awkward target but why to zebras have stripes to begin with? You might think that a black-and-white striped body would be very easy for a predator to spot in the African bush.

The reason for the striping is that zebras display a form of camouflage called disruptive coloration. Zebras roam the bush in herds, and when they are close together their patterning makes it very difficult to spot individual animals clearly. Because individual zebras cannot be identified, a predator finds it difficult to pick a ‘target’ for his meal. All he sees is a mass of black-and-white patterns.

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