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Why Do Zebras Have Stripes?

Scientists Claim Finding Why Zebras Have Stripes
Ever wondered why zebras have stripes? Well, the researchers behind a new study think they have a pretty good answer to that question.

WMAQ reports "California scientists say the animal's black and white pattern helps keep flies away by disrupting their vision and making it difficult for them to land." And WHDH says that "Apparently zebras are really susceptible because they have short hair."

The study was published in the scientific journal Nature Tuesday. In their summary posted on YouTube / Rachelle Zukerman, the scientists say they came to their conclusion after they couldn't find consistent evidence showing that the stripes could be used as camouflage or helping control "heat management."

National Geographic notes scientists have been trying to figure out the mystery of why zebras have their stripes for more than a century. The scientists in this most recent study used statistics to find their information rather than observations.

But a scientist from UCLA told USA Today statistics aren't enough: "We really need to know what happens with live zebras in the field before we can be sure."

Even without those observations, the scientists say the statistics provided pretty strong evidence.
A biologist who worked on the study told NBC: "I was surprised myself to see, again and again and again, greater intensity of striping on species and subspecies where we have this biting fly annoyance for months."

The study also found zebras that lived in areas with more aggressive bugs tended to have more stripes. (Via University of California Davis)

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MASTER April 02 2014 at 12:12 PM

How about this, Polar bears are actually black. Their fur is translucent, reflecting white light making them appear white. Their black skin absorbs heat from the sun, keeping them nice and toasty.

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peterb6666 April 02 2014 at 11:43 AM

A more imporant study would ask: Are Zebras white with black stripes, or black with white stripes. We really must know!!

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Kenny April 02 2014 at 9:11 AM

Did they ever think that maybe God wanted things to just be different.

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1 reply
Spinnaker Kenny April 02 2014 at 9:23 AM

Even God is not that capricious .....

Flag Reply 0 rate up
spencer April 02 2014 at 9:13 AM

They just want to be referees in the wild. How's that for an answer. Scientists need to work on some cures for diseases instead of wasting valuable time on trivial stuff like this..

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ksmithphotography April 02 2014 at 9:48 AM

Why do zebras have stripes? To distract scientists on slow days.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
laclone April 02 2014 at 10:06 AM

Confusing the flies, or confusing the cats. It's the same thing. The only difference is the size of the bite.

But, after all, this IS a California study, and Californians are weird anyway.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
myself April 02 2014 at 10:03 AM

Obvious, they were out of spots.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
lawrencefishberg April 02 2014 at 10:56 AM

They were given a choice of stripes or polka dots and felt that stripes were more stylish.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Rog April 02 2014 at 11:39 AM

Because they didn't care for any of the plaids that were offered.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
uknowme April 02 2014 at 10:25 AM

2 things... 1. it helps to develop neater penmanship for young zebra wen lying on their side;
... 2. it gives the zebra a greater appreciation for the drab coats they are given once they are granted parole!
better question for next studt should be what came first? the black or the white?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
Spinnaker uknowme April 02 2014 at 10:43 AM

No, the better queston is "why do women have breasts "? No other primate does. They have teats and marrary glands, but not anything so pronounced as significantly sized breasts............. Here's a clue, it has something to do with the fact that humans walk upright. So does lipstick. Realy cool when you find out why?

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