Why are zebras striped?

This is the most obvious question to ask about zebras but unfortunately nobody really knows the answer. Looking as zebras in the zoo, the stripped patterning seems very conspicuous and could hardly be thought of as protective. One theory, however, claims that this is, in fact, so. The bold stripes may serve to break up the shape of the zebra. From a distance, across the shimmering grassy plains on which the zebra lives, the blurred collection of stripes that the lion or tiger seem may not be instantly recognizable as an animal. The patterning is variable and no two zebras are exactly alike. It is interesting that African people think of zebras as black animals with white stripes whereas we think of them as white animals with black stripes.

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