The age old question “Why do zebras have stripes?” has finally been answered. After years of studying zebras and their stripes, the answer has been found. According to an April 2 report by the Washington Post, scientists have finally solved this mystery of why zebras have stripes.
There were five different hypotheses as to why zebras have stripes. Those included confusing predators, providing camouflage, regulating body temperature, helping with social interaction and repelling insects. Of those hypotheses, repelling insects and confusing predators were considered to be the best.
“I always thought it was to confuse lions and hyenas and other animals that eat zebras,” Rick Kellson, a father of two from Oklahoma City, said. “Now that they know why zebras have stripes, I'll have to tell my kids the right answer.”
It was a team of scientists at the University of California-Davis that figured out insects are repelled by the zebras' stripes. These scientists compared the different hypotheses and discovered that biting flies had the “best overlap.”
Answering the question “Why do zebras have stripes?” leads to another question. Why don't biting flies like stripes? Perhaps that question will be answered in a more timely manner than the question as to why zebras have stripes.