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Quagga

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FionaJ
1292302.  Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:53 pm Reply with quote

The quagga was a southern African animal which resembled the zebra and became extinct in 1883. With its stripes ending at the torso, the Dutch who settled near its habitat described it jovially as a zebra that had forgotten its pyjama pants.

It is believed that the curious, and rather satisfying, name ‘quagga’ is an onomatopoeia at its origin. The Khoikhoi people, an indigenous pastoralist population of Southwestern Africa, named the animal after its call which has been transcribed as “kwa-ha-ha”, “kwa-haah” and “oua-ga”.

Imagine naming every animal after its call?!

According to a New York Times article, a mostly retired taxidermist called Reinhold Rau is working to change the state of the quagga from ‘extinct’ to ‘very much alive’. The article reads: “Rau's goal, which he has been working toward for three decades, is to breed the quagga back into existence. His approach is to take zebras that look more quaggalike than the norm and mate them with one another, generation after generation, progressively erasing the stripes from the back part of their bodies.”

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/01/magazine/can-you-revive-an-extinct-animal.html
online edition of:
Skinner, J. D.; Chimimba, C. T (2005). "Equidae". The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 537–546. ISBN 978-0-521-84418-5.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quagga#cite_note-skinner-5

 
Shruthi
1292350.  Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:29 pm Reply with quote

Oh wow...
I am very interested to see how this turns out. Quagga evolved from plain zebras in the ice age. They are essentially trying to do the same but without recreating the same environment and so dont have the same adaptive response. I would too like see how much "Quagga-ness" they could recreate.

On a side note: There is a shark species name after Quagga- Quagga catshark- because of their similar color patterns. They are bottom dwelling, so safe from interaction with humans; hopefully it will not be in the extinct animals list anytime soon. cheers!

 
DVD Smith
1292355.  Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:13 pm Reply with quote

More info here in the Q-Animals thread :)

They were so much fun to research; I'd love to see one in the "flesh" one day. A list of surviving specimens can be found here.

One of the specimens is at the Grant Museum at UCL in London. They originally thought they had two zebra skeletons in their possession, until 1972 when they examined them closer and discovered that one was a quagga and the other was a donkey. [1]

The skeleton was missing a back leg, which it regained in 2015 thanks to 3D printing. [2] [3]

 
DVD Smith
1292361.  Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:32 pm Reply with quote

And here's a photo of the quagga catshark that Shruthi mentioned :)



What I love about the quagga catshark is that it's an animal named after three animals (quagga-cat-shark). I know of animals named after two others (butterflyfish, molerat etc), but I wonder if three can be beaten? (Edit: Yes!)

 
FionaJ
1292536.  Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:17 pm Reply with quote

Wow, that is SO interesting! Thanks for pointing it out to me :)

 
nathanvanwyk
1297409.  Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:09 am Reply with quote

Quagga is pronounced Kwa-gha... he guttaral 'g' in 'gha' is the one the Afrikaans people of SA use.

The Quagga breeding program was declared successful a while back. There are specimens around but I'm not sure if the patternation is stable. Also, these are not true Quagga, they are not genetically identical to consensus Quagga DNA. It's kind of like Alec Baldwin as Trump vs Actual Trump.

 

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