All the Quaggas of the World

— feeling ashamed


So this poor guy became extinct more than a century ago today...




A zebra subspecies, the quagga used to roam around in the Cape Province and the Orange Free State, South Africa, in great numbers.



As you can see, it is easy to differentiate these animals from zebras since only the front part of their body has the marks.




The Plain Plains Zebra


The Quagga Project tells you how to pronounce the name correctly and that the name is actually a reference to the animal's call.



Major reason for extinction is obvious - they were hunted for their meat and their skin. Competition with domestic animals for food is another reason while some think they were deliberately exterminated.


The picture below shows three different "types" of zebras:



But The Project tells us that all zebras are actually quaggas i.e. Equus quagga.  This interesting study reports that the reason that zebras are changing their stripes might be the heat. They even have a picture to prove it:



"Diagram of how temperature affects the zebras’ stripes, published in study How the zebra got its stripes: a problem with too many solutions in the Royal Society Open Science journal. Picture: Royal Society Open Science."


Coming back to the quaggas who were quaggas before it was cool to be one,  the last quagga died in captivity in 1883 in an Amsterdam zoo while the wild ones survived until 1870s.


The Project is trying to bring back the Quaggas through selective breeding and are facing opposition in doing so. Good or bad, that is a can of worms that should not be opened. I do like the idea but then...rhinos, hippos, Tasmanian tiger... where does it end? Oh, just remembered the movie, Splice. That was one ick flick!