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Burchell's zebras

Burchell's zebras
Photo Information
Copyright: Annick Vanderschelden (vanderschelden) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2553 W: 74 N: 7464] (30441)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-10
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon 400mm 2.8 IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park
Theme(s): Vanderschelden's Burchell's zebra [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-10-31 11:09
Viewed: 4842
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
In today's photographer's note something about a physical attribute...
The stripes
The stripes are typically vertical on the head, neck, forequarters, and main body, with horizontal stripes at the rear and on the legs of the animal. The "zebra crossing" is named after the zebra's black and white stripes.
Some zoologists believe that the stripes act as a camouflage mechanism. This is accomplished in several ways. First, the vertical striping helps the zebra hide in grass. While seeming absurd at first glance considering that grass is neither white nor black, it is supposed to be effective against the zebra's main predator, the lion, which is color blind. Theoretically a zebra standing still in tall grass may not be noticed at all by a lion. Additionally, since zebras are herd animals, the stripes may help to confuse predators - a number of zebras standing or moving close together may appear as one large animal, making it more difficult for the lion to pick out any single zebra to attack. A herd of zebras scattering to avoid a predator will also represent to that predator a confused mass of vertical stripes travelling in multiple directions making it difficult for the predator to track an individual visually as it separates from its herdmates, although biologists have never observed lions appearing confused by zebra stripes.
Stripes are also believed to play a role in sexual attractions, with slight variations of the pattern allowing the animals to distinguish between individuals.
A more recent theory, supported by experiment, posits that the disruptive colouration is also an effective means of confusing the visual system of the blood-sucking tsetse fly. Alternative theories include that the stripes coincide with fat patterning beneath the skin, serving as a thermoregulatory mechanism for the zebra, and that wounds sustained disrupt the striping pattern to clearly indicate the fitness of the animal to potential mates.
Source: wikipedia

I'll give it a go! The mother leading her young blends very well into the woodland savannah? So, it is a camouflage mechanism.
But I hope there's somebody with more sagacity and then I'll sit on the fence....:-)

As you see the image was taken at a very rainy day.
Capture time: 7:30

Digital darkroom:
Adobe Camera Raw
Adobe Photoshop CS3

Thank you very much for your critiques!
Have a very good(photo?)weekend!

volkan, PeterZ, boreocypriensis, robindb, LordPotty, haraprasan, Tamrock, Maite, SelenE has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To wishnugaruda: Hello Sabine,vanderschelden 1 11-01 17:39
To Evelynn: Evelynn, you are a sagevanderschelden 1 10-31 11:37
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Critiques [Translate]

Iwould think that any pattern that breaks the outline of the animal would work as camouflage. Also I often think that the zebra stripes mimic heat vapor lines... or whatever you call them. At a distance in dry, hot areas they could be less noticeable???? It is a lovely sharp image. One thing I really admire in so many of your shots is the soft colors (especially the greens) in your foregrounds and backgrounds. Nice work

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • volkan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 497 W: 10 N: 4] (2425)
  • [2008-10-31 12:05]

Hi Annick,
A wonderful nature photo of the zebras..
Very interesting notes..

What good is the camouflage pattern if there is nothing similiar to hide in or around, I think a lion is gonna nail them either way on a run down. I'll make a guess that it is for the young to blend into the parent as it would be harder to spot when it walks side by side exactly what your perfect picture portrays.

Paul :)

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-31 12:26]

HI Annick. Firstly i have enjoyed reading your notes. This is a nice picture of the mother and its young. As you say well camaflaged. with good detail. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-10-31 13:06]

Hallo Annick,
Voor iemand die in het onderwijs werkt, is je tekst, hoewel voor mij grotendeels bekend, altijd interessant. Nauwelijks te geloven dat deze streepjescodes camoufleren.
Je foto is prachtig. Ondanks het slechte weer, toch mooie natuurlijke kleuren en in super scherpe details. Goede achtergrond met de regendruppels aan de takken.
Goed weekend,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-10-31 15:09]

Hi Annick,lovely and tender pic,i like a lot this couple,it'a a symbol of love,my best compliments for the excellent quality of this capture,have a nice weekend,Luciano

Hi Annick,
What a lovely scene of this happy Burchell's zebra family. TFS this fine image my friend!
Have a nice weekend!


Wow! Just perfect exposure here Annick!
Lovely composition and tack sharp image.
You were lucky to have an overcast day as these obviously photograph best when it is not sunny.
Very nice work.

very nice pic, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-10-31 23:35]

Ha Annick,

Bedankt voor de reactie op de hamerkop,de reis was idd wederom fantastisch,hoewel het zoals al eerder gezegd droger en dorrer was als mijn laatste bezoek,waren het aantal sightings (en dus foto mogelijkheden) veel meer,ik moet zeggen dat het wel leuk is om het park in diverse seizoenen te hebben gezien en wellicht een volgende keer weer eens een andere maand te proberen,want bij mij zal er ongetwijfeld ook weer een volgende keer zijn,


Hi Annick,
A nice capture of this beautiful Zebra family. Superb details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

hi annick!
two beautiful animals!
very nice with good quality!
well done!

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-11-01 12:13]

How cute!! It's really a marvellous capture in all aspects! I love the DOF and colors.
Congratulations and TFS

  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-11-01 14:48]

merhaba Annick
wonderful capture of these cute zebras
i like composition, POV, light, sharpness and details

Hi Annick,
that's so lovely, it's a beautiful moment.
Was it raining? Can I see drops in the back?
So you see it's a very sharp shot ;-)
Thanks and greetings
Sabine - wishnugaruda

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  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-01 15:08]

Hi Annick,
a nice shot of these Zebras.
I like the composition very much.
Sharp and crisp.
Great lighting.

Well done,

Hello Annick

Yes if you imagine the zebras against a black and white background it makes more sense.
This is a beautiful image of a mother with young.
The clarity is very good.Excellent POV.
Another great capture.


  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2008-11-04 9:20]

Hi Annick
Lovely photo.Perfectly sharp.Nice natured colours.
Very good,
Regards Jiri.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-11-07 9:16]

Hi Annick,
Nice family photo :o) I like the moment you captured and the details. TFS
Have a nice weekend,

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