A tiny “horse” might hold the explanation for why zebras have stripes. The conventional hypothesis suggests that stripes are a type of disruptive camouflage that make it difficult for large predators to distinguish their zebra prey from the tall grass habitat. However, recent studies now link the evolution of zebra stripes to the horseflies that relentlessly attack their hide. Data suggest that there is a strong correlation between striping and the presence of tabanid biting flies. For a yet to be understood reason, it appears that horseflies avoid striped patterns where the banding approaches the widths observed in zebras.
"Scientists Solve the Riddle of Zebras' Stripes :: UC Davis News & Information." UC Davis News & Information. UC Davis, 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
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