03 March 2015

Striped Animals Addendum

Last Friday’s blog post reviewed three studies that sought to explain the evolutionary drivers of Zebra Stripes. But there are quite a few other animals that have stripes.

Some striped animals we know well. How about tigers, chipmunks and bees, not to mention skunks? (Photos from multiple websites.)
Some not so well, such as bongo antelope from Africa, where there aren’t many left; numbats, the marsupial anteaters emblematic of Western Australia; and the Striped Pyjama Squid of the southern Indo-Pacific. (Photos from multiple websites.)
Some have stripes on only part of their body. There’s the giraffe’s relative, the okapi of Central Africa, and there’s also badgers, which I have to mention since I’m living in Wisconsin. (Photos from multiple websites.)
Some lose their stripes, like tapirs from Central and South America and Southeastern Asia do after about 6 months. (Photo of tapir born in 2012 at Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan Zoological Center, from multiple websites.)
Some even laugh about their stripes, like striped hyenas from northern Africa, the Middle East and Asia. (Photos from multiple websites.)
Some striped animals swim. Among those in the Indo-Pacific oceans are the oriental sweetlips (left), which doesn’t start out with stripes, and the striped marlin. (Marlin photos from multiple websites; sweetlips from www.petsolutions.com/C/Live-Aquarium-Saltwater-Fish/I/Oriental-Sweetlips.aspx)
Some striped animals slither, such as the beautiful coral snake, which in North America comes with (watch out!) or without (whew) yellow. (Photo from multiple websites.)
Some striped animals crawl, creep or skitter, such as the wasp spider and striped shield bug. (Photos respectively from www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/gallery/showimage.php?i=1258&c=30 and www.insectoid.info/bugs/graphosoma-lineatum/)
And some just slide or glide, such as the Armina californica sea slug of the eastern Pacific. (Photo by Dave Cowles from www.wallawalla.edu/academics/departments/biology/rosario/inverts/Mollusca/Gastropoda/Opisthobranchia/Nudibranchia/Arminacea/Armina_californica.html)
With all those and more, don’t you wonder how their stripes evolved?

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