Quaggas Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything


2 Conversations

Quaggas are an extinct subspecies of zebra.

Quaggas, Latin name equus quagga, lived in sub-Saharan savannah, mostly in South Africa until exterminated in the wild in the 1870s. The double 'g' should be pronounced as a guttural 'ch', with the emphasis on the first syllable, in imitation of its call.

Decline and Fall

Few quaggas were ever subjected to academic study, though zoos in both London and Amsterdam exhibited the animal during the late 19th Century. When the quagga mare at Amsterdam Zoo died on 12 August, 1883, it was not immediately realised that the quagga was extinct.

Five photographs of the London Zoo mare are known, all taken by Frederick York and Frank Haes circa 1870 - these are thought to be of the only quagga to be photographed alive.

DNA taken from the skin of a stuffed quagga has been shown to be similar enough to that of the common zebra, Equus burchelli to demonstrate that the quagga was a subspecies of zebra.

In 1987, the Quagga Project Committee was formed in order to recreate the quagga. Not through Jurassic Park1 cloning, but through selective breeding of the common zebra. The project has achieved 'significant reduction in stripey markings on the body'.

1In the film, scientists clone dinosaurs from the blood of mosquitoes encased in amber.

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Edited Entry


Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Categorised In:

Written by


h2g2 Entries

External Links

Not Panicking Ltd is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more