Hey Zebra, Why Those Stripes?

By definition science strives to provide answers arrived at by systematic analysis of nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe. Since the dawn of biological science, mystery of Zebra stripes have confounded science. Enter Tim Caro of University of California at Davis.

Tim Caro visited Hill Livery in England, a stable that keeps zebra alongside horses. Keen observation of zebra, horses and horses cloaked in zebra stripes revealed a simple explanation of why zebras are stripped – stripes confound hoards of biting flies.¬†Apparently optics matter in the horsefly world. Swarms of horseflies hover without discrimination above horse and zebra, but stripes screw with horsefly minds, they can’t land on a striped hide.