Fruit Stripes and Milk – A Snack of Indy Zoo

It’s time for another post and true to form so far this year we’re sticking with the mammals from our Indianapolis Zoo Trip from (hang head low) back in 2011.  But first a quick moment for some back patting.  Last post was a bit of a milestone here at LifeIntrigued.   Second guessing myself, maybe I should have gone with “Kudos to Me” for the title.  What milestone do I speak of?  Well, with the release of the last post I’ve now officially made 400 posts over the last 5 years and some change (..crowd goes wild, balloons fall from the sky, t-shirts shot into the crowd).  Kind of makes me chuckle thinking about a certain brother proclaiming to the blogosphere how he was beating me on the post count for this year.. trust me, that little issue has been remedied.

Okay, enough fanfare.  Time to get to the subject of this post.  Correct that, the subject’S’ of the post.  It’s a bonus day for our readers who get TWO mammals to look at.  The first one is an animal that always brings me back to my childhood.  Anybody out there remember Yipes?  If so, you will understand the title.

For those that do not know, Yipes is the mascot for Fruit Stripes gum.  Technically it is a zebra but those clever marketing people over at Beech Nut gave it colored stripes.  These same stripes were replicated on the gum itself.  Once again I learned something interesting from our friends over at Wikipedia.  They state the gum was actually wrapped in edible paper.  I do not remember that at all.  What I do remember quite readily is a) how flavorful the individual pieces were and b) that flavor lasting about 3 chews.  A deep psychoanalysis would probably reveal this being the source of my current compulsion to always chew two pieces of gum at a time.  Yipes pretty much makes our specimen pretty boring.  Plain old black and white.  In case the suspense is killing you, I firmly believe that it’s black stripes on a white body but this is opposite to the current scientific evidence – this being a clear government conspiracy to hide the truth.  The picture above shows the reason for this belief – the underbelly has large white sections that look more like a canvas (see back of leg and the section right below the neck).  During post processing I decided to leave the bird in- gave the impression it was standing it’s ground against the behemoth.  Although, would have preferred to have taken the time to get the whole bird in the original shot.  The Zebra ears also mimic the “I’ve got my eyes on you” look.  While I’m at it, what is your take on this head shot? –  this one has the full head, one complete leg and enough body to make the connection from the neck to the start of the leg.  Does the single leg give an odd feeling .. like something is missing or is it quirky enough to be captivating?

And then we have the wall mount shot.  With the ears pulled back a little more it gives a less sad feeling.

Hit the jump to read more facts about the Zebra and see the bonus mammal!

A few facts for ya!  These horse descendents all have unique striping patterns but based on the multiple theories as to why they are striped … I’d say the jury is still out on that.  Being slower than their horse brothers, they rely on stamina as a defense mechanism along with what appears to be pretty acute senses of hearing and sight (possibly even in color).  National Geographic mentioned that these creatures are very social in nature and will collectively defend an attack – even to the point of rallying around a wounded colleague.  This led to visions of a zebra circle all facing toward the wounded zebra and kicking the crap out of anything that comes close to it with it’s hind legs all the while mooning their predators.   “I fart in your general DI-Rection”

Figured I’d throw in a fuller shot for your viewing pleasure.  These two were hanging out at the feeding trough passing the hot day in the shade.

Note, one of the theories behind the stripes is camouflage – their predators mostly color blind have problems distinguishing them from the tall grass and delineating one zebra from the others.  I can see some merit in that – Look at the picture above and quickly move your head from side to side – if you are like me it will be a tad disorienting – assume the world is black and white and things get significantly more difficult.

Okay, on to the cute and cuddly portion of today’s broadcast.  At one point we came upon this cute mother and offspring out and about.  The mother was keeping a keen eye on her little one literally pushing it from behind in the direction she wanted it to head.  This was my favorite image from that set of shots.

All at once everyone ..AAAAAAWWWWWEEEEE!!  This is definitely one of those instances where the young look so much cuter than their adult form.  I may be tainted by years of watching low grade horror movies, but the horn profile must have been the inspiration for many hell spawn characters – come to think of it kind of reminds me of the Greek god Pan.

If the Kudu was hard to identify, this creature was damn near impossible.  I went through all the Antelopes without luck – they either had a different horn shape or coloring pattern.  For awhile I thought it was a Bontebonk.  Those have a large white patch of coloring down their nose, but that is contained pretty much to front of the muzzle and their coloring is a much darker brown without the tri-tone our specimen had.  A quick look on the Buzzle site (link here) gave me the idea it might be a Bonobo, but again the face was only partially white and it was more duo-toned – definitely closer on the horns though.  Almost giving up I landed on a Gazelle and decided to try that line a bit.  A bunch of those were ruled out on antler profiles alone – including Grant’s Gazelle.  Then and idea hit me – see if the Indy Zoo had a map.  A few quick searches on the names found one that led me to: The Dama Gazelle or also referred to as Addras.

Now we’re cooking.  Based on the images I could find it looked like a fine match to me.  Their horns matched, the heads were definitely more full of white and the coloring was the closest match yet.  Unless you can find something closer I’m sticking with it!  After reading up on the Wikipedia entry for this creature these last two shots took on a whole different perspective.  These Damas are listed as critically endangered.  In these situations, her baby takes on a whole new weight.  Additionally, It is the national symbol for Niger and hangs out in Mali – the latter being a place unknown to me until the recent violence in that region.  This little dude can actually run as fast as the adults at two weeks old – sources on the web vary, but the average appears to be in the 40-50 mph range which merits a big tip of the hat from this two legged runner.

Dama’s are actually the largest of the Gazelles.  Too bad I didn’t get to see them pronking.  settle down high schoolers .. this isn’t an Urban Dictionary entry … umm at least I hope it isn’t.  Crap, it is listed there, but pretty tame considering the rest of the words they have defined there.  Pronking according to Wikipedia is the process for alerting the herd to danger by literally bouncing up and down on all four legs at once as if they were springs – Tigger with four tails.

I’ve come to the end of this set of pictures.  Hope you enjoyed the offering.  Pretty happy with how these came out of post processing seeing how they started out.  There is room for improvement on the Zebra compositions but the Damas worked out well from my viewpoint.

Take care.. see you again real soon.

4 thoughts on “Fruit Stripes and Milk – A Snack of Indy Zoo”

  1. Ah, yes, I well remember the extended period of time when I had the same number of blog posts as you did for the year. Yup.

    Zebras are cool. I never knew that zebra’s name was Yipes (I don’t chew gum because of latex allergy, although Wrigley’s says theirs is synthetic–not trusting that since I have allergies to synthetic rubber as well). I really like the zebra picture with the leg, since it’s not disjoint from the body as in the previous post. The missing other leg is not a concern at all, and in fact I think the leg in shadow confers a 3D effect on the picture. And I do like the bird.

    I had always heard that while zebras darted to and fro to escape an attack the moving stripes would confuse the enemy. And I can see that by moving my head as you say for the stationary zebras.

    Most zebras in zoos are the Grant’s Zebra, as I recall.



  2. “extended period of time” maybe in terms of a Mayfly! Maybe we should make a Nomogram of LifeIntrigued posts over time and DeadReckoning posts. Something tells me that the solving line would be have a steeply declining slope.

    Never occurred to me that your allergy would extend to gum – chewing rubber doesn’t sound nearly as appetizing – probably why they left it off their advertising.

    So, as long as the body is connected in some way to the leg we are good to go. Will add that to me field journal so I can adjust my compositions appropriately. I still keep looking at that single leg and trying to come to a definitive answer from my perspective. I’ll like it, then come back to it and not like it as much and then flip again – very strange.

    The darting theory is actually listed as one of the probable reasons for the stripes. Is is hard for us to visualize what it looks like for a predator since our eyes are finely tuned for contrast – far beyond digital cameras today which is why pictures can come out quite different than we expected – HDR to the rescue.

    You are correct, there are multiple zebra species and as far as I can tell these were Grant’s as well. Some look more like donkeys where others take on the more horse characteristic.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment – need to get through just a couple more mammal posts and I can move on to the BIRDS!


  3. The mayfly typically lives for a year in its naiad (or nymph) stage, with a range of several months to several years. And to first approximation that’s how long I’m going to bring up our tie in number of posts for the year.



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