How did the zebra get its stripes?
The most compelling evidence suggests the main benefit comes from the contrasting way that black and white stripes absorb heat.
Asked by: Becca Johnson, Durham
This mystery has ‘finally’ been solved many times over the years, with explanations ranging from camouflage to a deterrent against parasites. The most compelling evidence – published in January 2015 by scientists in the US – suggests the main benefit comes from the contrasting way that black and white stripes absorb heat. Black gets hotter than white, creating cooling swirls of airflow over the zebra’s skin.
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Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.
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