Why Do Zebras Have Stripes? Scientists May Have Found The Answer
A zebra's stripes are the stuff of fascination and folklore. They are indeed the defining characteristic of these animals and an iconic image of Africa itself. That being said, there has never been a definitive answer as to why they have these stripes. Well, Gabor Horvath and a team of Hungarian and Swedish scientists have come up with a new theory that just might explain it.
They theorize that the white stripes could have evolved on the zebra in order to ward of a dangerous insect, the tabanid (horsefly).
Horseflies can carry dangerous disease and zebras would of course be vulnerable to their attacks. What this new research uncovers is that horseflies were least attracted to surfaces that had light and dark striped patterns similar to that of a zebra. It's also interesting to note that zebra embryos initially have dark skin and only develop the white stripes right before they're born, also linking it to a possible evolutionary trait.
Another popular theory is that the stripes confuse and blind predators like lions when herds of zebras are fleeing an attack. So still no definitive answer on this one. What do you think, any theories of your own?