World News

Scientists Solve Zebra's Stripes Puzzle

Researchers at the University of California, Davis say they have solved the riddle of how the zebra got its stripes.
The theory of evolution states animals develop patterns on their bodies if it gives them a survival advantage - to elude predators or to attract the opposite sex. Some researchers suggested the zebra's stripes somehow contribute to regulation of body temperature.
But according to a new study, zebras developed the stripes to avoid annoying, and sometimes dangerous insect bites.
Scientists have known for a long time that tsetse flies and horseflies prefer to bite animals with all-black or all-white skins, rather than striped ones. Researchers looked at different species and subspecies of zebras, horses and asses, and their habitats. They found in areas where flies are more abundant, the animals tended to develop contrasting coloration on their bodies.
The study was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications.

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