The arrangement of its stripes also is mysterious, because each zebra has a totally uniquely designed coat. (July 11, 2008)http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0309/feature2/index.html?fs=video.nationalgeographic.com&fs=plasma.nationalgeographic.com, Murray, James Dickson. All mammalian hair color is dictated by melanin-producing cells, called melanocytes, that live within hair follicles. Let’s find out…. Have a question about the weird and wild world? Conducted July 14, 2008. Grevy’s zebras are the largest of the zebra family, and their stripes are narrower. Springer. The skin cells of most animals—zebras and humans included—produce a pigment called melanin. How do a zebra's stripes act as camouflage? That's likely because the colored hair follicles embedded in the skin are visible, similar to a man's five-o'clock shadow, Barsh says. That’s because if you look at most zebras, the stripes end on their belly and toward the inside of the legs, and the rest is all white. ), Cheetahsâwhich are actually more closely related to small catsââdefinitely do not have spots or lines on their [tan] skin,â says Vincent van der Merwe, a biologist at South Africaâs Endangered Wildlife Trust. - So what color is a zebra?