PHOTO: This Rare Polka-Dotted Baby Zebra Is Incredible

by Madison Miller

Something exotic and exciting is always happening out in nature. Whether it’s an intense predator versus prey moment or a rare species, nature has a way of keeping everyone on their toes.

This time, a rare polka-dot zebra is getting attention on social media.

Rare Zebra Caught on Camera

A young zebra is right next to a full-sized adult zebra in the pictures. Instead of the typical long black-and-white stripes, this young zebra is all black with different-sized white dots throughout its body.

The zebra also has a bit of a lighter brown color in some areas of its body, specifically near its hooves. These two zebras are in a Kenyan National Preserve.

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes?

The trademark black-and-white stripes is what most people associate with the animal. However, these stripes have to serve some kind of greater purpose rather than just looking interesting.

According to BBC, scientists have given over 18 reasons why the animals could have these stripes. It could be camouflage, warning colors, unique markers to distinguish each other, or other countless ideas.

Some more recent theories suggest that these stripes help protect against biting flies, thermoregulation, and predators. However, the exact reasoning for these stripes is unclear and they likely serve several factors all at once.

Photo by: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images

Other Rare Animals Spotted

News of a rare and interesting animal spotted out in the wild is not uncommon. Given how much land is left not inhabited, it makes sense we don’t see every variation of species frequently. Genetic modifications occur in many animals and lead to interesting variations.

As for the ocean, there is more than 80% still untouched. It’s difficult to say what may be swimming in some of those dark, unprotected, and unexplored areas.

Scientists recently saw a rare and vivid yellow-colored penguin in Antarctica. King penguins are distinguished by their black and yellow feathers, but this penguin had this spark of yellow on the entirety of its body. Usually, killer whales and seals go for lighter-colored penguins first.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, a rare half-male and half-female cardinal is flying around. The bird’s coloring is half and half. One half was bright red while the other half was a brownish white color. It’s not an entirely uncommon condition for cardinals but it is an interesting sight to see for those not totally invested in birdwatching.

Scientists are hoping that these kinds of rare sightings in birds will help with awareness and conservation efforts.