Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Zebras and the Quagga: Horses With Stripes

"Horse Tigers"
Nature, PBS (Online content originally posted August, 2001)

"When it comes to zebras, it's not all black and white. These spirited, striped African horses have rich, complex lives, as NATURE's Horse Tigers shows.

"There are actually three kinds of zebras that wander Africa's grasslands and forests. By far the best known and most common is the Plains zebra, the stocky little grazer often seen milling amidst the herds of wildebeest and giraffes in many a wildlife film. Less known and rarer are the Grevy's and Mountain zebras, which despite similar striping live very different lives.

"Plains zebras, for instance, live in highly organized social groups, with a stallion overseeing a small group of mares and their foals...."

There's more, about Hartmann's zebra (there's about 15,000 of them now), and the Quagga, among other things.

The Quagga may - or may not - have existed back in the 1800s. Whatever the case, some people are trying to "restore" the Quagga - my guess is by reverse-engineering existing equids. We human beings are pretty good at taking plants or animals and changing them into something else. If some folks want the Quagga to exist - I think it will.

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