Why do zebras have stripes? It is a question that has been studied and debated for years, but a new study may have the answer, biting flies; the study was led by Tim Cairo from the University of California, Davis. So, is the evolution of stripes simply to avoid annoying and tiny insects?
Other reasons that science has given for the black and white stripes has been to confuse predators, regulate body temperature and camouflage. This is not the first time however that repelling insects was thought to be a reason. But who knew this could be the main reason for the stripes.
The team studied a range of striped species and found there more striped species where there was a higher concentration of flies. Flies prefer to land on dark surfaces. Light surfaces are not attractive, and even less appealing is alternating light and dark stripes.
So as the weather warms up, the question is maybe we should all consider wearing black and white striped clothing instead of using bug spray this summer.