How Many Stripes Does A Zebra Have?

Zebras are famous for their stripes and often go by striped animals. These unique stripes make them stand out from the rest. Besides the never-ending debate on whether they are black with white stripes or white with black stripes, there is another question that Zebra lovers love to argue about.

The question is How many stripes does a zebra have? Everyone is eager to know the exact number of stripes a zebra have.

Zebras usually live in the wild or zoos, so, most people do not get a chance to count it themselves. It is also asked often do all zebras have the same stripes? Do they change stripes? And many other questions related to stripes.

Well, you will find the answers to all your queries, some of them may even shock you. Here’s what you need to know about the zebra stripes.

How Many Stripes Does A Zebra Have?

There is no exact number to give in regards to this question. Each zebra have a different number of stripes than the other one. There are three species of Zebra and each one carries different stripes, however, the pattern is more or less the same.

Stripes are of utmost importance in the world of zebras, it makes it hard for a hunter to pick out an individual animal, stripes deter biting flies, and help in selecting mates.

Of all the three species of Zebras, each type has particular qualities that put it in the spotlight. As far as the number of stripes is concerned, these three species are different from each other. Find below the average number of zebra stripes of these types.

Plains Zebra

It is the most common species of Zebra and goes by the name of Common Zebra. Out of the three, It is the most abundant and widespread zebra species.

Their stripe pattern also varies from the other two species. Their broad stripes run horizontally facing the back and vertically en route to the front, meeting in a triangle in the middle of their bodies. On average, plains Zebras generally have about 26 stripes per side.

Mountain Zebra

Mountain Zebras are mainly found on high altitudes as high as 2,000 meters above sea level. It is further divided into two different species Cape Mountain Zebra and Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.

They have broad stripes with white bodies underneath. Mountain Zebras roughly have approximately 43 stripes per side.

Grevy’s Zebras

Also known as Imperial Zebra, it is the most threatened Zebra species. They have the most number of stripes covering their body, mane, and ears as well.

They have narrow and close-set stripes that become broader on the neck and extend up to the hooves. You will find about 80 stripes per side on Grevy’s Zebra.

Zebra stripes are quite fascinating and unique, the above-mentioned figures only give a rough estimate. The number of stripes depends on each zebra and the species.

zebra stripes

Do All Zebras Have the Same Number of Stripes?

Just like a human fingerprint which are different from others, no two zebras have identical stripes or pattern.

The number of stripes varies between individual animals. Zebra stripes are unique to the animal and have different patterns.

Some zebras have thin, closely spaced stripes, whereas, others have broad, widely spaced stripes. As there are some changes in the pattern, so do each zebra have an individual number of stripes.

Counting the Zebra Stripes

Even if you go on a mission to know the exact number of zebra stripes, it’s more likely you will fail.

Counting zebra stripes is not as easy as you anticipate, going near zebra alone is not without risk as they are known to be aggressive and can harm a human being.

For novices, it is hard to figure out what counts as “stripes”. Take a good look at the pictures of zebras and you will observe that some stripes merge and fork and the stripes on the face and limbs often split into Y’s.

It may confuse a person whether he should count the stripes joined together as single or multiple stripes.

Another obstacle in counting the zebra stripes is the individual would not be able to decide to count the black stripes or white stripes.

Zebras are skittish creatures and often flee when they sense the presence of a human being or predator.

So, before you get done with the counting, it is more likely that the zebra may have disappeared from the scene. Do not expect them to stand obediently for you to count the stripes.

Wrapping It Up

Zebras do not have the same number of stripes, just like, humans do not have the same fingerprints. Since it is hard to count the exact number, you have to rely on the average estimates. Also, some zebras living in hotter climates tend to have more than the ones living in colder temperatures.

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Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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