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Photo: Zebra Stripes

By | March 10, 2009
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Photo: Edgar Angelone, Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Zebras' stripes come in different patterns unique to each individual. Generally social animals, zebra "harems," or groups, range from small family units to large herds. Some zoologists believe that the stripes act as a camouflage mechanism, with the vertical stripes helping the zebra to hide in grass from lions, who are color blind. Stripes are also believed to play a role in sexual attractions, with slight variations of the pattern allowing the animals to distinguish between individuals.

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