Why are zebras striped? So flies can't land

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However, once the flies are close to the zebras, they tend to fly past the zebra or bump into it, that indicates the stripes might disrupt the flies' ability to control the landing.

A team of researchers conducted a series of interesting experiments to try to figure out why zebras have stripes all over their bodies.

Horse flies are a broad issue for local creatures so mitigating strategies, for example, the improvement of hostile to fly wear meant to look like zebra stripes, may, from this examination, be a fascinating result for creature wellbeing and prosperity. Flies approached the zebras and horses at equal rates, the researchers found, which isn't surprising because flies are thought to use smell, rather than sight, to locate their victims from a distance.

Flies approach zebras animal with the intention of landing and drinking the zebra's blood.

It just took one seriously obsessed scientist, some horses and a couple zebra parkas.

This does not happen with domestic horses, which are without stripes.

It seems the stripes affect the insects only at very close range, the scientists say, and they suggest zebra-striped coats may be a simple way to protect domestic horses from biting flies.

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"Most biologists involved with research on mammal coloration accept that this is the reason that zebras have stripes".

The team closely observed zebras as flies attempted to land on them and made detailed videos to record flight trajectories as flies move close to the zebras.

There had been four main hypotheses about the advantages zebras accrued by evolving stripes: camouflage to avoid large predators; a social function like individual recognition; thermoregulation, with stripes setting up convection currents along the animal's back; and thwarting biting fly attacks.

Researchers also made the same horses wear different coloured cloth coats: black, white or zebra-striped livery. The zebra swished tails nearly continuously to ward off flies, while horses primarily twitch and occasionally swish tails to ward off flies.

Horses, however, primarily twitch and occasionally swish to ward off flies. (2019) Benefits of zebra stripes: Behaviour of tabanid flies around zebras and horses.

Scientists are providing new evidence to answer the longstanding question about why zebras have stripes. In Africa, where wild zebras roam, flies carry a number of diseases that are fatal to the striped creatures, and their thin coats make them especially easy to bite.

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