Brenda Larison of the University of California at Los Angeles received a grant from the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration to investigate the genetic basis and adaptive significance of stripe pattern variation in plains zebra (Equus burchelli). The study represents a unique opportunity to gain new insights about the evolution of zebra stripes, and because the topic of zebra stripes inspires not only scientists: but artists, designers, children and the merely curious, it provides a natural bridge to engage people in the scientific process.
National Geographic Grantee Brenda Larison is on a mission to find out why zebras, favorite prey of lions, are so conspicuous by their stripes. Some of the theories are surprising. Scroll to the bottom of this blog post for a link to Brenda's website and to see how you can help her do her work.
Video by Brenda Larison
Zebra stripes are among the most striking mammalian coat patterns. How these dramatic patterns are produced remains mysterious, as does their adaptive value. National Geographic grantee Brenda Larison is in the field in Africa to gain new insights about the evolution of zebra stripes.