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Zebras Have Stripes to Avoid Flies, Not Lions
Real Clear Science ^ | 4/1/2014 | Alex B. Berezow

Posted on 04/01/2014 2:24:42 PM PDT by bkopto

Zebras have evolved white and black stripes as camouflage to confuse lions. That's the conventional wisdom, anyway. But, as is so often the case, the conventional wisdom appears to be wrong.

New research in Nature Communications concludes that zebras' stripes are actually for preventing bites from nasty insects, such as tabanids (horse flies). For some reason, these flies avoid landing on black and white striped surfaces.

For their study, the authors collected stripe pattern data on seven wild equids: plains zebra, Grévy's zebra, mountain zebra, African wild ass, Przewalski's horse, kiang, and Asiatic wild ass. They then overlaid a map of these equids' ranges with information on predators' ranges, temperature, biomes, tsetse fly ranges, and tabanid ranges (which were determined by proxy using measurements on temperature and humidity). They found that the presence of equid stripes most closely correlated with the ranges of biting flies, such as tabanids and tsetse flies. In other words, equids are more likely to have stripes if they live in an area that also has biting flies.

Simultaneously, the authors' map mostly eliminated the other possible explanations that exist for zebra stripes: camouflage, predator confusion, body temperature control, and social identification. However, the presence of rump and leg stripes correlated with the range of hyenas, so it is possible that the stripes play a role in keeping hyenas at bay. The authors argue, though, that adult zebras are generally too big and powerful for hyenas to hunt, so it is unlikely that striping patterns play an important role here. Also, Asian equids that were once hunted by wolves and tigers do not have stripes.

Thus, the evidence from this and previous studies indicates that zebras have stripes to avoid flies, not lions.

(Excerpt) Read more at realclearscience.com ...


TOPICS: Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; horseflies; tabanids; zebras

1 posted on 04/01/2014 2:24:42 PM PDT by bkopto
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To: bkopto
Zebras have evolved were intelligently created with white and black stripes
2 posted on 04/01/2014 2:28:20 PM PDT by PapaNew
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To: bkopto

:: For some reason, these flies avoid landing on black and white striped surfaces. ::

That’s RAYCISS!


3 posted on 04/01/2014 2:28:38 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The Acronym explains the science.)
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To: bkopto

I really hate when science books say that an animal evolved something for it’s benefit. This is the classic lie that is told in grade and high school science classes. They make it seem that there was some intelligent mechanism that helped the animal to evolve, when instead if evolution is true then the only thing driving it is dumb luck.


4 posted on 04/01/2014 2:29:08 PM PDT by LukeL
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To: bkopto

Or, did the flies inherit a disdain for being whacked by the Zebra’s tail, and stop landing on black/white striped objects?


5 posted on 04/01/2014 2:42:03 PM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: LukeL

imagine the sort of intelligence tha Zebra would have needed....to have chosen....to evolve.

even we modern humans.....cough cough...lack that kind of brain and will power .


6 posted on 04/01/2014 2:43:33 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel

African wild ass and asiatic wild ass.... Definitely racist.


7 posted on 04/01/2014 2:51:53 PM PDT by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: bkopto

Lions don’t have stripes? Don’t tell the tigers.


8 posted on 04/01/2014 2:55:48 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: bkopto

I ate Zebra a few weeks ago in South Africa. Pretty tasty....for a striped horse/mule/ass/donkey.


9 posted on 04/01/2014 2:59:11 PM PDT by Solson (The Voters stole the election! And the establishment wants it back.)
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To: bkopto

Same thing with referees. You’ll never see flies around a referee. You do see a lot of bees around referees, though. Bees and kangaroos. You always see them around referees.


10 posted on 04/01/2014 3:00:56 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: LukeL

“I really hate when science books say that an animal evolved something for it’s benefit”

Of course the animal doesn’t plan the mutation. You are right. But, logically the mutations that are carried on either do nothing harmful or are beneficial to the animal and its descendents. Since things like the Zebra’s stripes are not found in the fossil record, we are reduced to DNA hints and rare skin or feather fossils which don’t give information about color (amber trapped insects do I think).


11 posted on 04/01/2014 3:01:38 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: JimSEA

The article still doesn’t say if a Zebra is a white animal with black stripes or a black animal with white stripes


12 posted on 04/01/2014 3:15:21 PM PDT by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: bkopto

Don’t believe it. It was settled science. 97% of zoologists agree that zebra stripes serve as camouflage against lions. The camo-stripe deniers have some kind of an agenda. Once science is settled by consensus, deniers should stop trying to prove it wrong.


13 posted on 04/01/2014 3:24:12 PM PDT by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: Fai Mao
"The article still doesn’t say if a Zebra is a white animal with black stripes or a black animal with white stripes"

I can't answer the zebra question, but polar bears have black skin. Go figure...

14 posted on 04/01/2014 3:25:04 PM PDT by Flag_This (Liberalism: Kills countries dead.)
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To: bkopto

15 posted on 04/01/2014 3:27:29 PM PDT by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: bkopto

“...zebras’ stripes are actually for preventing bites from nasty insects, such as tabanids (horse flies).”

If they bit zebras, they would be called zebra flies. How obvious can it be?


16 posted on 04/01/2014 3:33:18 PM PDT by PLMerite
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To: bkopto

Valerie Jarrett should paint stripes on her sock puppet Obama. Zero needs some fly repellent.


17 posted on 04/01/2014 4:03:05 PM PDT by twister881
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...
Thanks bkopto.

18 posted on 04/01/2014 4:04:00 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Obama is now making Jimmy Carter look like Attila the Hun. /focus/news/3138768/posts)
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To: LukeL

It’s not evolution. It’s adaptation.


19 posted on 04/01/2014 4:04:40 PM PDT by Fledermaus (I support Joe Carr in the TN GOP Primary against Lamar!)
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To: Sgt_Schultze

Damn Koch brothers!


20 posted on 04/01/2014 4:05:22 PM PDT by Fledermaus (I support Joe Carr in the TN GOP Primary against Lamar!)
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To: Fai Mao
The article still doesn’t say if a Zebra is a white animal with black stripes or a black animal with white stripes.

It's actually a lavender animal with black AND white stripes covering up the lavender completely.

Well, that's my theory. Nobel Prize here I come!

21 posted on 04/01/2014 4:07:39 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: JoeProBono

Joe, you are ALWAYS on top of the current events, and ALWAYS a step ahead of whoever is in second place! LOL!


22 posted on 04/01/2014 4:11:42 PM PDT by Monkey Face (Truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth. ~~ Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty)
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To: Monkey Face

23 posted on 04/01/2014 4:16:54 PM PDT by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: PLMerite

If they bit zebras, they would be called zebra flies. How obvious can it be?

LOL!


24 posted on 04/01/2014 4:23:31 PM PDT by Bigg Red (1 Pt 1: As he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct.)
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To: bkopto

Oh my!


25 posted on 04/01/2014 4:23:43 PM PDT by Ken H (What happens on the internet, stays on the internet.)
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To: JoeProBono

Well. That’s rather stilted and arcane...


26 posted on 04/01/2014 4:26:54 PM PDT by Monkey Face (Truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth. ~~ Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty)
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To: bkopto
Since the flies (especially in warm climates) have a much faster reproductive rate and vastly more numbers of individuals resulting in far greater opportunity for natural selection (probably by a factor of 1,000,000 or more),...... the obvious question is, why have the flies been so very slow to adapt?

Maybe this is evidence that natural selection doesn't work.......at least not in fly populations.

......and that's the problem with so much of Darwinian thinking: Natural selection is believed with certainty to explain all things, so contrarian thinking is not even imaginable to the majority of our evolutionary biologists.

27 posted on 04/01/2014 5:14:09 PM PDT by cookcounty (IRS = Internal Revenge Service.)
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To: PapaNew

Yep.


28 posted on 04/01/2014 6:08:26 PM PDT by Salamander (SNEK!!!)
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To: bkopto

Why didn’t the other mammals evolve stripes?


29 posted on 04/01/2014 6:10:43 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: bkopto
New research in Nature Communications concludes that zebras' stripes are actually for preventing bites from nasty insects,

I'm going with the lion theory. Think about it for a minute.

If your stripes keep the flies away that has no impact whatsoever on your survivability. If your stripes confuse lions WHO WILL KILL YOU it has a huge impact.

30 posted on 04/01/2014 6:30:04 PM PDT by Lizavetta
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To: LukeL

It’s not dumb luck, it’s natural selection. The language used is just a way to describe the factors that lead to the adaptation. Nobody is trying to imply intent.


31 posted on 04/01/2014 6:34:48 PM PDT by mlo
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To: cookcounty
"Since the flies (especially in warm climates) have a much faster reproductive rate and vastly more numbers of individuals resulting in far greater opportunity for natural selection (probably by a factor of 1,000,000 or more),...... the obvious question is, why have the flies been so very slow to adapt?"

That's a fair question, but it's a stretch to think that an answer would show natural selection doesn't work.

I'll point out that this theory that the stripes deter flies wasn't actually tested. They showed a correlation between populations and inferred that the flies didn't like stripes. That should then be tested. The prediction is these flies would avoid stripes. So you get some flies and set up an experiment to find out. This could be wrong, despite the correlation.

32 posted on 04/01/2014 6:39:12 PM PDT by mlo
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To: Fledermaus

Yup. A couple of conspiring evil doers bent on doing evil.


33 posted on 04/01/2014 6:41:45 PM PDT by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: Fai Mao

That’s very true.


34 posted on 04/01/2014 6:49:32 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: mlo

The way I was taught it in high school with the implication of some intent by nature. An example would be that birds developed hard beaks in order to crack open the hard shells that contained nuts. The above sentence implies some intelligence by the bird.


35 posted on 04/01/2014 6:50:17 PM PDT by LukeL
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To: LukeL

But it’s just the language used to explain the driving factor. Intent is not actually meant.


36 posted on 04/01/2014 7:55:40 PM PDT by mlo
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To: mlo

But how well would evolution fly in grade school when you tell them that the reason animals evolve is because of random events and that dinosaurs turned into birds because of random factors and it is just luck that they survived up to this very day.


37 posted on 04/01/2014 7:57:49 PM PDT by LukeL
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To: LukeL

There are two difference concepts involved in evolution. Variation, which is random. And natural selection, which is not.

Random variation is only the raw material used by the process of natural selection. Evolution is not random dumb luck. It is the environment of the organism shaping the biology over the generations. The process must have variations to choose from, and those variations come from random events, but the process is not random.


38 posted on 04/01/2014 8:24:30 PM PDT by mlo
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To: SunkenCiv

Wouldn’t this adaptation benefit every animal trying to avoid flies and other biting insects?


39 posted on 04/02/2014 9:06:44 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: bkopto
...African Wild Ass...
Those African Wild Asses are dangerous:
One is running around Chicongo in a beat up White Crown Vic that the coppers are looking for. He shot two people yesterday in a span of a couple hours, one of whom died on scene, the other in critical condition with a bullet in his brain. And when the Cops find him he's gonna wish he had Black & White stripes as he's gonna get ventilated given the chance.

And this past Saturday about 100 African Wild Asses had a nice little riot, aka 'Wilding', where the Rich Folk live, Shop & Party -- 'The Mag Mile', and right in the middle of the street at Chicago Avenue & Michigan Ave. But 'somehow' Chicongo's crack media missed reporting on this event, I found out through a police source.

So if you ever come upon these African Wild Asses be very aware, those asses are very unpredictable.
40 posted on 04/02/2014 10:35:06 AM PDT by Condor51 (Si vis pacem, para bellum.)
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