Read My Stripes

19 Apr
Don’t you just love zebras for their sense of style?
They wear vertical and horizontal stripes so well.
And the horizontal stripes don’t make their legs look fat!
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Dig My Stripes

How totally cool is this?
NEWS | News & Notes | April 19

News & Notes: Researchers find technology to identify zebras based on stripes

Published: Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Researchers at Princeton’s Equid Research and Conservation laboratory and at the Computational Population Biology laboratory at the University of Illinois have developed a new technology called StripeSpotter that allows biologists to identify and catalog zebras by reading their stripes like barcodes.

The open-source application, which is provided free for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, allows researchers to crop a particularly prominent selection of striping from a normal point-and-shoot camera photo and use it as a thumbprint to identify the individual zebra. Biologists can also link the photo to details of the sighting, such as field notes and GPS coordinates.

If there is already an instance of the specific animal in the system, researchers can pull up details of the previous encounter.

The creators of StripeSpotter, who will present a paper on the new program at the International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval this month, are currently working on assembling a database of Plains zebras and Grevys zebras in Kenya.

The technology likely can work on other animals, such as giraffes or tigers, that can be identified by distinctive striping or spotting patterns, researchers said.


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Sooner or later, we humans will all have barcodes on our bottoms…


12 Responses to “Read My Stripes”

  1. Dawn@LightenUp! April 20, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Now this is an app I’ll use everyday! 😉 Really neat.

    • BARB BEST April 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

      Yes, Dawn. We want to keep track of our zebras, they’re always running off.

  2. kim sisto robinson April 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    ~~What a kick!
    What a Fab animal 🙂

  3. Jeanne Kraus April 23, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Hmm. Stripes on my bottom. I have a feeling that I am unique enough that they will not need to be putting stripes on me! I like this post though. Love zebras.

    • BARB BEST April 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      Thanks, Jeanne. I love zebras, too. Unique, distinctive = GREAT!

  4. kelworthfiles April 24, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Fun stuff, thanks for sharing.

    I’m starting up a ‘Critiquing and Supportive Crusaders’ program, where participants in the Second Crusade can find other writers to exchange critiques with or form supportive critiquing circles. If you’re interested, come by The Kelworth Files to check it out!

  5. Catherine Johnson April 26, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    That’s amazing! No one is anonymous these days ay, not even a Zebra! 🙂

    • BARB BEST April 26, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      I agree, Catherine. Geez, next it’ll be giraffes and leopards! Love your book reviews at your blog

      • Catherine Johnson April 27, 2011 at 5:12 am #

        Thanks Barb, that’s very kind of you to put a link up 🙂

  6. harlan petersen June 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    My belated comment; The zebra walking at the top is a Grevys, while the one who is laughing so hard
    he/she is rolling in the dirt, (from one of your jokes) is either the Plains breed or the other one called
    Hansens (something like that) breed. One has white stripes on black, and the other has black stripes
    white. It took years of investigation to determine this. Now they just check their genes.
    If any one would like to purchase a special Giclee Print of “The A-maze-ing Zebra” Just contact me at for details. The title fits the painting design.

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