Tira, born in the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya, does not have the traditional black and white stripes but is brown in color and her body is dotted with white dots.
The scientists reported that it is a genetic mutation that, in addition to having changed stripes to polka dots, has inverted colors.
Tira is not the first specimen with this sinularity in its fur. A few years ago, something similar happened, a zebra had the colors reversed but retained the striped coat design.
Some specialists follow that this mutation is due to climate change. Despite having a different appearance, the zebra has not been rejected by its parents, who keep it within the herd.
A study showed in early June this year that zebra stripes function as a mechanism to regulate their body temperature, instead of serving to dazzle insects and protect themselves from disease as previously believed.
The authors of the study published in"Journal of Natural History"They argued that the stripes is the special way that zebras sweat to make their temperature drop and the small air convections created between the stripes help evaporation, while the previously unrecorded ability of zebras to erect their black stripes it is an additional aid for heat loss.
The problem for Tira is that it can be a prey for the large carnivores in the savannah. Zebra lines are a "gift of nature." Animals that want to attack them cannot distinguish where the zebra's body begins and ends and where the smallest and most vulnerable of the group is. The zebra that is different, like Tira, can be a very easy target.
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