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    Why Zebras Have Stripes

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Researchers from Hungary and Sweden have found that zebras might have developed their black and white stripes because the pattern reflects light in a certain way and makes them less attractive to blood sucking horseflies.

    Have you ever wondered why zebras have stripes?

    Researchers from Hungary and Sweden have found that zebras might have developed their black and white stripes because the pattern reflects light in a certain way and makes them less attractive to bloodsucking horseflies.

    Data for the study was collected by comparing the biting flies’ preference for darker or lighter colored boards, and then putting models of brown, black, white and striped horses in a field to see how many flies they attracted.

    The zebra striped models attracted the least number of flies.

    The explanation may be that since different shades of color reflect different kinds of light, the alternating black and white stripes essentially cause the zebra to blend into the background, making it hard for the biting flies to see.

    Other possible explanations have also been suggested for why zebras evolved to have stripes.

    The stripes may help regulate the zebra’s body temperature.

    Perhaps zebras use them to identify each other, or for protection, as camouflage in the grass, and to confuse predators when they are in a group.