Zebra stripes


When we were on a safari in South Africa recently, I asked the guide why zebras do not blend into the background like other animals – like lion – who blend into their surroundings. His answer was that zebra are herd animals and when they run away from threats in a group, they create an optical illusion which confuses the predators. Said predators are thus unable to tell where the individual zebra are because they form a dazzling blur.

I am sure there are other theories but with the above theory I wonder how they found out what the predators actually see? Surely each type of animal has different vision?

These spectacular photographs were taken by my cousin, Christine Westraadt.


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. Another theory implies that the black-and-white patterns are confusing for flies and other nasty flying insects. Interestingly, the marketing texts never provide links to the “scientific studies” mentioned 😉.
    At least there seems to be a grain of truth in it – ever since using a zebra-striped eczema rug i’ve been able to downgrade from a model with a belly pad to a lighter rug with cross surcingles without worsening for my horse’s skin …

    1. Thank you so much for this. I have long been fascinated by zebra because they really don’t blend into their surroundings, do they?

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