If you look at a zebra’s eyes in this image, you’ll note the light source. Its pupil is a sort of circular lens which allows it to see in the dark. When the zebra is not getting enough light to see the dark, the pupil narrows, causing it to focus the light of the sun, which the zebra uses for hunting. In some ways, it looks quite similar to a human:
The shape of the eyes is also quite similar to a human’s, with one eye being smaller than the other, and one having a more rounded shape.
We’ve even got eyelids to match.
A zebra’s eyelids have been studied for evidence of their evolution.
A look at the back of a zebra shows how it has adapted to light conditions in the past, so it’s able to capture enough light to see.
The zebra’s eyelids have evolved in response to an increase in illumination, as a consequence of changes in the climate over thousands of years. They’re still used for detecting light, but it’s evolved to help it see in even low light situations, where the human pupil is unable to see, at any distance, the dark patches behind the zebra.
Now that’s a zebra-eye view!
What’s in a name
The zebra was chosen because zebras are a very ancient species:
The first real evidence for zebra’s appearance as an animal that did not have the hind legs came from a cave painting in Iraq in 1950.
A woman was showing a carving of two zebra’s hind legs to a tourist in a cave in Iraq.
The woman asked the tourist if she could take them for a walk. She walked a little way and noticed that both legs looked like they had been cut off.
She tried to walk around with the two legs, but found that they didn’t move easily at all. They were bent in every direction, as if both are held together with very small, narrow strips of leather. It looked like some kind of grotesque limb.
She looked up from the drawing to see that the next day an Iraqi dentist was showing the same carving to tourists at a museum. It came with a caption that read “one zebra is one limb”. It also had a picture of one zebra, with its hind legs attached via the leather strap of a camel.
It was the first time, in fact
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