Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why the zebra has stripes

Where did the zebra get his stripes? Or rather, why?

This has been studied over the years, with various theories proposed: to confuse predators, provide camouflage, regulate body temperature, aid in social interaction and to repel insects, according to National Geographic. The two that have had the best results in studies over the years are repelling insects and confusing predators.
A scientific team headed by Tim Caro, a wildlife biologist at the University of California-Davis, mapped the range of zebras as well as horses and asses, noting striping on their bodies. This was compared to the five hypotheses about the purpose of zebra stripes using variables such as predator ranges, wooded areas, temperatures and distribution of biting flies. The best overlap was with biting flies.

Source: Here

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