Naledi cam, Idube cam are down - we are working on a solution.

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes? Scientists May Have Found The Answer

Africam's picture
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?

[Source: Journal of Experimental Biology]

MikeLarabee's picture

All this time I thought

All this time I thought Zebras were White with Black stripes, Silly me.

Since their belly color is White it seems reasonable that their predominate color would be White and that would make the stripes Black

grootbeck's picture

One of the reasons I heard

One of the reasons I heard was that because black attaracts heat and white reflects heat. the two combined therefore cause a small whirlwind/wind force which is supposed to cool the Zebras body.

tiger lilly's picture

God likes to mix things up

God likes to mix things up which is why we are all different, he also knew how much time humans would waste wondering why zebras had stripes.

 

shushin's picture

stelios wrote:Maybe the

stelios wrote:
Maybe the reason for the stripes is to ensure that the Zebra is neither black nor white. A peaceful reminder that Africa is the birthplace of all mankind and it belongs to all of us. Just a thought...

 

I love your reply. Thank you for that.

painteddog's picture

maybe the white stripe

maybe the white stripe  helps to disipate the heat from that gathered from the blackstripes in summer  and does the oposite during winter the black parts absorbe heat and transfer to the white stripes so its an airconditioning system, also the theory that the stripes confuse preditors is a good one when we think of the tigers stripes when it is in the brush thickets it becomes invisible. isnt nature amazing. i wish we humans were their equal but alas i think we have still got a million or so years to go yet, when you realise that we still need clothes to keep our temperature regulated so that we can survive on this planet. that bring up the question are we realy from here?

stelios's picture

Maybe the reason for the

Maybe the reason for the stripes is to ensure that the Zebra is neither black nor white. A peaceful reminder that Africa is the birthplace of all mankind and it belongs to all of us. Just a thought...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.