by Greg Mayer
Having been thinking about the taxonomic distribution and adaptive significance (if any) of spots and stripes, I recalled that my cat, Peyton (see here and here), had some pattern elements quite reminiscent of tigers (beyond being a tiger tabby– the “tiger” stripes of tabby cats are not very like the stripes of tigers). So I went to the Racine Zoo to look at the tiger.
The particular pattern element that seemed tiger-like was the striping on the inside of her legs, which is not well seen on the tiger here. I was more intrigued by the fact that along the back, some of the stripes of the tiger form rosette-like ovals (rosettes are found in leopards, jaguars, and young lions), which can be seen in this photo (blurred by the glass keeping me and the tiger separated).