All white stripeless baby zebra

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Peter-PP, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. Peter-PP

    Peter-PP Stunt Coordinator

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    A white stripeless baby zebra baffles scientists. Poor thing will be number one target for predators and poachers.

    White baby zebra
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    looks cute. I find it unusual an anamoly as simple as no stripes baffles scietists.
     
  3. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    It said rangers are baffled by it. I rather doubt that scientists would be baffled. There's even a name for it:

    sport # An organism that shows a marked change from the normal type or parent stock, typically as a result of mutation.

    This is a driving force of evolution. If this zebra were born in an environment where all white zebras had an advantage we would soon see herds of all white zebras. Likely he wasn't born in such an environment and will soon be food for something, which is why we don't see herds of all white, or black, or brown, or long-furred, etc, zebra.
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Does evolution happen so drastically like that? I would think it would happen much slowly (i.e. we'd see a zebra with grey stripes first)

    EDIT: After watching the video, the news reporter says something like "if you look closely though, it looks like there's a little grey striping on him". I'd guess there's the possibility of black stripes under all that hair.
     
  5. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    It most certainly can.

    Hornless sheep, hairless cats, Scottish fold cats, goldfish, golden corydora catfish, long-haired fallow deer....

    All these are examples of animals that would have been difficult for humans to produce by simple crossbreeding. Instead we have these types of animals because of genetic sports appearing and then a person recognizing them, protecting them, and encouraging their continued reproduction.

    It also happens in plants. A habanero chile pepper grower had an acre or so of the normal orange variety. He wasn't getting much money from his crop so he decided to plow them under. He noticed one plant with red habaneros. He kept that one and propagated it. This is now the famous (in chile pepper circles) Red Savina habanero. It is much hotter than the original variety and breeds true. It too is a genetic sport - the chances of humans breeding such a pepper are small.
     
  6. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I have a photo here and I think it makes it pretty clear that zebra stripes are definitely part of the fur.

    I don't think a white zebra is really a sign of evolution. It's a fluke thing, like an albino animal. Nor would you expect to see grey stripes on a zebra as a step in this direction. If there are grey stripes on this zebra they are probably made by real thin or sparse black stripes in the main white coat.
     
  7. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    That's what mutations are - fluke things. If the fluke thing is beneficial, then natural selection will favor those with the mutated gene. It not, then the individual will not pass on their genes.

    Evolution is the change of organisms over time. Random genetic mutations are a part of that. The appearance of genetic sports is indeed a glimpse into one of the factors that drive evolution.

    However, unless that little zebra is protected, it's likely to become someone's lunch. So I doubt we'll see herds of white zebras anytime in the future.

    BTW, there are several varieties of zebra across Africa. Some have brownish shadow stripes between the black stripes and some are much closer to being brown and black instead of white and black.
     
  8. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Have you not watched X-Men?

    In anycase, I would say mutation, not evolution. Methinks we have evolution when said mutation results in a new population.

    --
    H
     
  9. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    Which is why I called it a force of evolution.

    The most common forces of evolution are:
    Natural Selection
    Gene Flow
    Mutation
    Genetic Drift
    and Migration.

    As I said, the appearance of a mutation like a white zebra is one of the forces of evolution.
     
  10. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Sorry, I was responding to Mark and didn't see your reply.

    --
    H
     
  11. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Don't forget sexual selection! Maybe that white zebra will avoid getting eaten, but all the lady/stud zebras will think it is ugly, and will not let it breed!

    (sexual selection: Darwin's OTHER theory that was so controversial that he rewrote his book on the subject - to downplay the significance of his discovery to avoid being lynched, I guess)
     
  12. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    Exactly... That particular Zebra has a mutation... But the rest of the herd look like normal Zebras... thus no evolution has happened... In a 1000 years or so, if all zebras look like that zebra, then they would have "evolved"
    into the all white zebra. I sincerely doubt this is going to happen...

    Looks to me like a simple case of albinism or leucisticism, which isn't particularly odd in nature. Happens in mice very frequently (especially captive bred), many species of reptile & amphibians, mammals, and is fairly common in humans...

    Seigfreid & Roy have built an empire on the fact that leucisticism occurs in captive bred Bengal tigers quite frequently. Since zoos don't want the recessive trait to overwhelm the small breeding stock of captive tigers, nor do they want to cull an endangered species (despite a genetic mutation), they sell the whites on the cheap to flamboyant, rich, germans who rename them "the royal white tigers of somethingmagig" and pass them off as a different species... They're not... But making an "albino bengal tiger" disappear just doesn't sound as sexy...
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    LOL

    Evolution? Mutation? sounds like the difference between coinceidence and trend. It's a coincidence when it only happens once, it's a trend when it happens on a regular basis.
     
  14. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    While it has been shown (or suspected?) that the same mutations occur in completely independent and geographically seperate populations, I believe it is possible that a single mutation results in a new population several generations later.

    --
    H
     
  15. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Next headline "Leopard Changes Spots" ?
     
  16. Peter-PP

    Peter-PP Stunt Coordinator

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    Speaking of leopards changing spots, scientists have actually found that cheetahs are actually evolving very quickly. They are getting larger and their spots are turning into stripes on their backs. Then on the other hand, a group of different scientists said that the larger cheetahs with the stripes on their backs could be of a different rare species and called them "King cheetahs".
     
  17. Tony_Woods

    Tony_Woods Stunt Coordinator

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    Stripless Zebra=Horse [​IMG]
     

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