Unlike leopards, cheetahs and other wild animals, the zebras’ one of a kind skin colors have made them more distinctive than other representatives of the wild life. And for many centuries scientists all over the world have been pondering their heads over the question why zebras have stripes.
Nowadays this answer is finally answered! Although there have been many theories so far, including heat management mechanism and camouflage, a team of Californian scientists have found the true answer. It seems like the zebra’s stripes are indeed used for protection, but not from rivals that hold a deadly threat, but from insects. That’s right, the stripes are actually handy when it comes to distracting and disrupting the vision of tiny biting flies. Horseflies and tsetse flies are apparently distracted by the black and white stripes and find it harder to land on the zebra’s body. The scientists have also found out that the zebra’s stripes are more thickly situated among those animals that live in areas swarming with biting flies.
By the looks of it, those stripes are not only beautiful, but they also come in handy!