The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) was unknown to western zoology until late in the 19th century due to the species’ living in one relatively small area of the central African rainforest. Okapis have dark reddish-brown coats set off by a contrasting horizontal pattern of black and white stripes on the lower legs. The pattern is especially vivid on the hind legs and rump. Though the striping pattern leads to comparisons with another African striped ungulate – the well-known Zebra – the Okapi is more closely related to the spotted Giraffe.
(image via: Terese Hart)
The world population of Okapis is estimated to be between 10,000 and 35,000 with the wide range owing to the species’ thickly forested and difficult to access habitat. IUCN rates the Okapi as Near Threatened as looming pressures from human activity and a long-running civil war in central Africa are certain to impact on wild populations. Okapi trivia factoid: the animal can extend their long, blue-gray tongues far enough to clean their eyelids and their ears – inside and out!
Fish and other marine creatures are perhaps the stripiest creatures on Earth so choosing one representative was a tall order indeed. After careful consideration, we went with the Blue-lined Surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus) due to its awesome name (seriously, a “surgeon fish”?), venomous dorsal spine, and the fact that its brilliant blue and yellow stripes are each other’s complementary color.
(image via: elrina753)
Full props to Flickr user elrina753 for capturing the Blue-lined Surgeonfish above not only up close and personal but head-on as well. Apply directly to the forehead? Not this striped sea critter, no matter how bad my migraine gets!