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Christian95's avatar

Zebras are white with black stripes or black with white stripes?

Asked by Christian95 (3260points) December 27th, 2009

IT just hit me 5 minutes ago.

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32 Answers

grumpyfish's avatar

They are black with white stripes.

randomness's avatar

They are white with black stripes.

daemonelson's avatar

They are white with black stripes.

If you look at a zebra’s underside, it’s entirely white down the middle, with the black stripes not coming to meet each other from each side.

Of course, this is ridiculous, but I enjoy thinking about it.

MrItty's avatar

@daemonelson is correct. They’re white with black stripes. Their bellies are white

nebule's avatar

yes…I would have thought white with black stripes… unless it’s like the polar bear thing??? :-/

talljasperman's avatar

white with black stripes

Pazza's avatar

So would an albino Zebra be black?.........

ETpro's avatar

There are two distinct kinds. One is white with black stripes and the other, of course, is black with white stripes. Naturally, the two hate and distrust each other, and avoid their opposites like the plague.

Have a nice New Year. :-)

Pazza's avatar

Do polar bears have stripes?.... =)

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Pazza Polar bears have black skin and white (well, clear) fur.

janbb's avatar

Those with stars upon thars….....

Pazza's avatar

O ye, now I get it.
You just jogged my memory, black skin for soaking up what little heat there is, an the fur is only white because theres no pigmentation.

ccrow's avatar

According to wikipedia they are black w/white stripes (& bellies): “It was previously believed that zebras were white animals with black stripes since some zebras have white underbellies. However embryological evidence shows that the animal’s background color is dark and the white stripes and bellies are additions.”
FWIW, their illustration is not an albino in my book.

Val123's avatar

They are striped, period. If you were to shave them, their skin would be striped.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

@Pazza the Wikipedia entry @ccrow mentioned shows a picture of an albino zebra, and it is white with off-white stripes (or the other way around).

nebule's avatar

thanks @fireinthepriory there before me x

bea2345's avatar

According to Wikipedia, citing Prothero D.R, Schoch R. M (2003). Horns, Tusks, and Flippers, they are dark with white stripes. BTW, there is a zebra skin for sale in an African shop in Port of Spain: the stripes are a very dark brown, rather than black. Would that reflect the species or are they all like that?

Val123's avatar

@bea2345 Ok. I once had a horse and, before that, I had a neighbor. I noticed that my horse had a multi colored hoof, and I noticed that the hair directly above whatever color was on the hoof, was pale or dark, the same as the hoof. In other words, she had a stripe of white on her other wise brown leg, but that strip of white extended through, down the “nail” of the hoof. Per my neighbor, when I was 8. Have you ever seen a true blond with a black or dark birthmark on his head? The hair growing in the birthmark area is black, in contrast to the rest of the blond hair….The stripes on a Zebra’s skin may be a very dark brown, which may cause the Zebra’s body to register “grow black hair here”....if that makes sense. My grandson had the same thing up until he was about four (it was SO COOL!!!), but since then his hair has turned to brown, and if there is any “black” you can’t see it now. It’s whatever color the skin is. And…the color of the skin depends on the pigment. So, literally, you could say, the Zebra is white, with black pigment stripes on the skin, which = black hair.

Futomara's avatar

Zebras aren’t real.

DrBill's avatar

I have the answer, but it would get modded if I said it here

ETpro's avatar

@Futomara Do you think Bigfoot believes in all the rumored Littlefoot sightings?

Futomara's avatar

@ETpro – I’m not sure what Bigfoot thinks, but I’ll ask him and get back to you.

ETpro's avatar

@Futomara Ha! I got a great laugh out of your “Zebra’s fon’t exist.” answer. Reminded me of the story of the old farmer trying to explain the animals at the zoo to his young son. For each exhibit, he had an explanation based on some farm animal till they came to the Giraffe. When his son asked what that animal was, the old man relolie, “Come on home, son. There ain’t no such animal!”

Futomara's avatar

@ETpro – That’s funny. Never heard that one before. I think you truly understood the point of my answer on an existential level. Is the glass half full or half empty? It doesn’t matter because the glass doesn’t really exist. Neither do zebras nor you nor me. LOL

ccrow's avatar

@Futomara Half full or half empty?? Check this out!!

Strauss's avatar

black with white stripes and a great big white stripe up the middle of their bellies~!

MaryW's avatar

White with black stripes. My Final Answer.

ETpro's avatar

@Christian95 Here’s the definitive answer to the question. Zebras are indeed black with white stripes.

Val123's avatar

@ETpro… If you skin a zebra and remove all of it’s hair, the pelt with be black and whit striped. That is, it will be the white base, interspersed with pigmented skin.

Val123's avatar

To that end, all humans have “white” skin. Just some have more pigmentation than others.

ETpro's avatar

@Val123 The author’s point was that Zebras have generally dark pelts but have areas where a melanin inhibititor causes the darkenss to not occur. I guess it is all in how you want to define it.

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