Is zebra white or black?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Zebras are often described as black with white stripes, and this is because the default color of their fur is black. The fur of zebras, like that of other mammals, grows from follicles that contain melanocyte cells, which are responsible for producing pigment. In the case of zebras, these melanocytes are active and produce black pigment throughout their bodies.

The pattern of white stripes on a zebra’s body is actually a result of the deactivation of the melanocytes in those specific areas. This deactivation occurs during the development of the zebra’s fur, and it leads to a lack of pigment production in those regions, resulting in white fur. So, in essence, the white stripes on a zebra are areas where the melanocytes are turned off, while the rest of the fur remains black.

It is interesting to note that the black color is considered the default because it is produced by the active melanocytes, whereas the absence of pigment leads to the white color of the stripes. This suggests that black is the natural or “default” color of a zebra’s fur.

It is worth mentioning that there are different species of zebras, and they exhibit variations in the patterns and colors of their stripes. Some zebras may have wider or narrower stripes, while others may have variations in the intensity of black and white. However, regardless of these variations, the underlying mechanism of melanocyte activation and deactivation remains the same.

As an AI language model, I don’t have personal experiences or encounters with zebras to share. However, the information I’ve provided is based on scientific knowledge and research about zebras and their fur coloration.

Zebras are considered black with white stripes because the default color of their fur is black. The white stripes are areas where the melanocytes are deactivated, leading to a lack of pigment production and resulting in white fur. However, it is important to note that zebras exhibit variations in stripe patterns and coloration among different species.