Botswana, Africa

The zebra stands in the sunset, as a silhouette, while the beautiful orange and red colors flow through the dust cloud. The black and white stripes of its patterned fur are just visible.

 

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 8 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a X-H1 and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/11
  • Exposure time: 1/1100s
  • ISO: 1600
  • Focal Length: 560mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 5334 by 3555 pixels (WxH).

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The zebra stands in the sunset, as a silhouette, while the beautiful orange and red colors of the setting sun in the cloud of dust let it stand out. The black and white stripes of its patterned fur are just visible. In the distance, to the right, you see a few zebras in a superb colorful cloud of dust.

Every zebra has its unique pattern of stripes on its coat. Due to their unique coating, we can identify each zebra. Scientists and biologists can study each zebra in a herd and keep track of individuals by memorizing each pattern. These days, special software we use to scan photographs of zebras and identify each one by studying their stripes similarly to bar codes. Astonishingly, it can even recognize differences in posture and weight, including pregnancy.

One reason why zebras have stripes is to confuse predators when they are standing in a herd. It is harder for the lion to pick a single zebra if its stripes are blending in with its peers. Lately, more and more new theories we discover. Some scientists believe that their stripes keep them a lot cooler. The reason for this is that the dark lines absorb more sunlight compared to the light ones. After that, this stirs upwind that swirl the heat away. Other researchers have found that biting flies avoid striped patterns.

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