Ask the Veterinarian/Zebras

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Question
Dear Dr Anand

Are there zebra species available which have a skin color other than black & white?.

Thanks
Prashant

Answer
Melanocyte skin cells produce the pigments that color the fur. Certain chemical messengers regulate which melanocytes deliver their pigment to the zebra. So the pattern is a result of pigment activation (black) and inhibition (white).This means black is the actual color of the fur, and the white patches are simply the areas that lack pigmentation.Most zebras have dark skin beneath their hair/fur.

Zebras also come in black, blonde and brown. They can be spotted or have parts of their body with no pattern at all.
Melanism:A color morph with more black pigment is called 'melanistic'. This is a recessive trait and so remains rare in any large population.Coloration varies from wide stripes to nearly complete black coverage.
Mottled Zebras:White spots on black:In some cases melanism combined with the stripes of the zebra results in a spotted coat pattern (white on black). In other cases the stripes just seem to break up into spots (black on white).Some zebras show broken or distorted stripes and blotches. These variation are particularly rare.
Black spots on white:In some cases the color pattern is reversed.
Blonde:When the pigment scale is albinism  where zebras lack black pigment and so have pale or missing stripes. They are also referred to  as 'blonde zebras' or 'white phase zebras'.
Reduced Striping:Some zebras do not have stripes that are paler, but just smaller, leaving large sections of their body plain white.
Brown:Zebroids, or zebra horse hybrids have the shape of a horse but combine horse colors with zebra stripes.

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Dr S Bindu Anand

Expertise

Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine http://binduanand.webs.com/

Experience

A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Organizations
Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

Education/Credentials
BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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