Can’t Spot This: 7 Unexpected Amazing Striped Animals

Eastern Mountain Bongo

(images via: Mau Mandala and Animal Fact Guide)

Enough of that #$%&@, here comes Bongo! The Eastern Mountain Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci), to be exact, and considering both males and females of this formidable forest antelope possess long, pointed horns, respect and unobtrusiveness is a must when on a photographic safari. Native to a remote region of central Kenya in east Africa, the Eastern Mountain Bongo displays a bright reddish-brown coat divided vertically by thin and widely spaced yellow-white stripes.

(image via: Mt. Kenya Wildlife Conservancy)

IUCN has listed the Eastern Mountain Bongo as Critically Endangered; only about 60% of the estimated wild population of 28,000 currently live in protected areas. Humans prey on this species for their meat, their horns and their striking pelts. Traditionally, tribes in the Eastern Mountain Bongo’s primary habitat believed that eating the creature’s meat would cause those eating it to suffer seizures, but these superstitions have faded to the detriment of this magnificent forest antelope.

Western Striped Manakin

(images via: University of Glasgow Exploration Society, Félix Uribe and BirdForum/Diego Calderon)

The world’s birds have evolved a plethora of colors, patterns, spots and yes – even stripes over tens of millions of years, and the majority of these displays are intended to impress potential mates (and outshine rivals) during courtship rituals. The Western Striped Manakin (Machaeropterus striolatus) is a bit out of the ordinary in that while only males sport bright red feathery crowns, both genders share a beautiful pattern of lengthwise stripes along their abdomens.

(image via: The Internet Bird Collection (IBC))

Western Striped Manakins are found in forested areas of northwestern South America ranging from Ecuador and northeastern Peru eastward to western areas of Brazil and southwestern Venezuela. These small but vocal birds are common in their habitats and are not considered to be vulnerable nor endangered though ongoing forestry and other human activity may impact them in the future.

(image via: Flatrock)

Can people (besides athletes) have stripes? Yes and no… so-called Blaschko’s Lines are not normally visible unless certain types of skin diseases manifest themselves along the lines. Also known as Lines of Blaschko, the stripes generally conform to a V shape over the back, S-shaped whorl patterns across the chest, stomach, and sides, and wavy patterns on the top of the head. Could Blaschko’s Lines be the vestiges of stripes sported by our ancient ancestors before we lost most of our body hair?