Saturday, August 18, 2018

Chapman's Zebra

My prior post on the Burchell's zebra noted the six subspecies of the plains zebra, which include Burchell's zebra and Chapman's zebra, and DNA testing which suggests that there are no genetic subspecies, but differences in striping on zebras which reflects a continuum from north to south, the northern zebras having narrower and more defined stripes and the southern zebras having "shadow" stripes and even just blotches of brown fading into white on the hindquarters, lower legs and underparts. 
This zebra near Okondeka waterhole in Etosha NP has nearly all white legs. 
Note the differences in stripes on these zebras at Okaukuejo waterhole in Etosha NP. The zebra second to left is almost all brown with some fairly heavy shadow striping. The zebra second from top right is also almost all brown, but a little lighter and with much lighter shadow stripes. The zebra fourth from left is almost all black and white with very faint shadow striping on the hindquarters. The zebra just behind it to the left is almost all brown and white with very little shadow striping (it is probably a youngster - youngsters are brown and white, then turn black). The variations among this group are striking. 
Chapman's zebra has stripes similar to the Burchell's zebra, but appears to be one step further south on the north/south continuum, meaning that there is even more white on the legs, hindquarters and undersides and less defined stripes.  
Note the lack of definition in stripes on the hindquarters. Some of the brown shadow stripes look like varicose veings. 
Note the hindquarters of the mother feeding the baby, much like the zebra in the photo above. 
The leading zebra has almost white legs and very ill defined shadow strips and incomplete black stripes on the hindquarters. 
Chapman's are found in northeast South Africa, north to Zimbabwe, west into Botswana, the Caprivi Strip of Namibia and southern Angola. However, in this blog post showing zebra subspecies, which was one of the more helpful posts showing differences in zebras, they have photos of Chapman's zebras in Etosha NP which show stripe patterns on the hindquarters that are weak and kind of squiggly, kind of like varicose veins. 

1 comment:

  1. Some of these zebras look like they've been rolling in red dirt.