Africa: evolution from zebra to half-unstriped quagga


This video says about itself:

Conservationists in South Africa are trying to bring back the Quagga – a zebra like animal that has been extinct since 1883. Through selective breeding with southern plains zebras, they have already created animals which look similar to the Quagga, having similar striping and colouration.

From the Google cache of Dear Kitty ModBlog.

9/27/05 at 11:23AM

Mood: Looking Playing: Horse with no name, by America.

From Biology News Net:

How a zebra lost its stripes: Rapid evolution of the quagga

DNA from museum samples of extinct animals is providing unexpected information on the extent and effect of the Ice Age as well as the path of species evolution, according to a report by scientists from Yale University, the Smithsonian Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

The quagga, Equus quagga, a South African relative of horses and zebras, having a front half with zebra-like stripes and a back section like a horse with no marking, became extinct about 100 years ago.

The pelt from a quagga museum specimen was the subject of tissue sampling that launched the field of ancient DNA analysis.

“Twenty years ago this exact species opened the field of ancient DNA studies on extinct animals,” said one of the authors, Gisella Caccone, senior research scientist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale.

“Now, thanks to technological advances in the field, we revisited the story and used a population level approach to this question by analyzing a larger fragment of DNA and multiple specimens.”

In the past, the quagga has alternatively been described as a species and a subspecies of the Plains zebra.

These researchers asked how and when the quagga diverged from all the remaining related horses, zebras, and asses.

They compared the genetics, coat color and habitats of existing zebras with related extinct species.

The mitochondrial DNA markers from 13 museum specimens, including the only skeleton in museum collections, which is at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History, showed that quagga likely diverged from Plains zebra about 120,000 to 290,000 years ago during the Ice Age.

These results suggest that the quagga descended from a population of plains zebras that became isolated and the distinct quagga body type and coloring evolved rapidly.

This study reveals that the Ice Age was important not just in Europe and North America, but also in Africa.

“The rapid evolution of coat color in the quagga could be explained by disrupted gene flow because of geographical isolation, an adaptive response to a drier habitat, or a combination of both of the two forces,” said Caccone.

Source: Yale University.

12 August 1883 – Last Known Quagga Dies in Amsterdam’s Artis Magistra Zoo.

Grevy’s zebras: here. And here.

Endangered Grevy’s Zebra foal born at Detroit Zoo: here.

Zebra stripes: here.

9 thoughts on “Africa: evolution from zebra to half-unstriped quagga

  1. Pingback: Zebra and quagga mussels in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Snakes, turtles, giraffes, other animals in 2016 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Cenozoic animals, how big, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: ‘Oldest human fossils discovered in Morocco’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Drowned wildebeest help other Kenyan animals | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Van Gogh museum’s display on man and animals | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Big new wasp species discovery in Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.