Zebras may be a common animal in children’s ABC books, but for good reason. While many other animals start with a Z the only other pretty one that doesn’t have zebra in the name is a type of spotted skunk known as a zorrilla. I had too many similar body type animals to the zorilla by the time I did this one, so I opted to go for the mystery that is the zebra. While many animals have smooth, even coloring, scientists have debated the zebra’s eye catching stripes for years! There are 18 different theories about why they have stripes! The three most popular theories are: heat regulation, confusing predators, and protection from flies. The ideas behind the stripes protecting from predators and flies are similar: they both
rely on the fact that as the zebra moves the stripes confuse the vision of the attacker. Regulating heat is thought to work by raising the fur in the black stripes to trap heat and lowering it to allow sweat to evaporate faster. The white stripes reflect, creating airflow to spread the effects. Either way they look really neat!