Dazzled by a Dazzle – Zebra

Plains Zebra

Plains Zebra

Did you know a group of zebras is called a dazzle? Rightly so too, and here’s why;

Most predators only see in black and white, or similar, so can you imagine when on the hunt for zebra and as you give chase, the group (or dazzle) of zebra start running. All the variations of stripes, black and white, all flashing as a blur before your eyes.

This makes it very difficult for a predator to single out an individual and go after them specifically and is an excellent defense mechanism for the zebras.

Dazzle of zebras

Dazzle of Zebras

Another way this works well in their defense is this; have you noticed how adult zebras look almost squat, and stocky, yet calves have long, lanky, legs?

Look at the images above and below, and notice how the underside of the zebras, both calf and adult, are about the same height. This makes it difficult for the predators to single out the young within the dazzle and increases the difficulty in catching an easy meal.

Zebra and calf

Zebra and calf

The image above is a great example of how two zebras, in this case an adult and calf, can blend in with each other.

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