The Mystery Behind Zebra Stripes Uncovered

Over the years the most common belief behind a zebra’s has stripes has been that the animal makes use of the unusual camouflage pattern as a defense against their predators. However a new research at Cambridge University suggests that the stripes are unlikely to have come about as a source of protection for the animal.

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Image Source: http://www.nathab.com/family-adventures/family-botswana-safari/
The academics carried out a study to understand if stripes were actually able to act as mode of deception or not. The initial results suggested that stripes actually made the animal more visible and an easier target as compared to plain color preys.

Dr. Anna Hughes, the leader of the study states that, “this research won’t just be useful to naturalist and designers of military camouflage. This research could, after further study, be useful to road safety experts who want to get a better understanding of clutter and how the brain perceives road signs along the motorway”.

Dr. Hughes isn’t the only one to question the camouflage theory behind the zebra’s stripes. In 1871 Charles Darwin all dismissed the idea based on the observations by explorer William Burchell that described how, “brightness and regularity of their stripped coats presented a picture of extraordinary beauty, making it easier to spot the animal”.

Reference:
http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/news/how-did-the-zebra-earn-its-stripes-1.1899103#.Vcx3G0vTDlI