Navigation Links
Bug Bites May Have Caused Zebras' Stripes
Date:2/9/2012

THURSDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Zebras evolved from all black to striped in order to repel insects that distract them from feeding, a new study contends.

Researchers from Hungary and Sweden said that zebras' black and white stripes are the least-attractive hide pattern to disease-carrying bloodsuckers known as tabanids or more commonly, horseflies.

The researchers found that horseflies are drawn to horizontally polarized light resembling reflections from water. They explained that this is how insects find areas of water where they can lay their eggs. Female horseflies also use the light reflected from animals' hides, particularly black hides, to detect their victims, the study noted.

The study, published online in the March issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, pointed out that as embryos, zebras start out with dark skin. They go on to develop their white stripes before birth. The researchers suggested this was an evolutionary adaptation to help them avoid bug bites.

The researchers tested their theory at a horse farm near Budapest that was infested with horse flies. They altered the width, angle and density of the stripes and changed the direction of polarization of the light they reflected. Using oil and glue, they trapped the insects to reveal which pattern attracted the most horse flies.

The study showed the narrower the stripes, the fewer flies they attracted. The researchers also tested the attractiveness of a white, dark and striped horse. The study found the striped horse drew the least flies.

"We conclude that zebras have evolved a coat pattern in which the stripes are narrow enough to ensure minimum attractiveness to tabanid flies," the researchers wrote in a journal news release.

More information

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture provides more information on horseflies.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: The Company of Biologists, news release, Feb. 4, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Health Bites: 8 Things You Didnt Know About Your Teeth
2. New and Delicious, Almond Butter Filled, Cookie Bites With 35.7% Protein to Help Manage Weight and Build Muscle
3. Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Snack Bites are Perfect for Portion Control Snacking On the Go
4. Good News About Dog Bites and How to Make it Better
5. Rise in Dog Bites Has Experts Concerned
6. Treat Snakebites With Adrenaline, Study Says
7. How to Guard Against Dog Bites
8. Skin Lesions Often Misdiagnosed as Spider Bites
9. RSA Innovator NetClarity Solves Networking Problems Caused by HP and Cisco Divorce
10. Acupuncture may relieve joint pain caused by some breast cancer treatments
11. DNA Test May Cut Hospitalizations Caused by Blood Thinner
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bug Bites May Have Caused Zebras' Stripes
(Date:6/27/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... are fully customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO ... another unique style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics to ... technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers with ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Overland Park, KS (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... leader in retailers of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United ... life, eyeglasses have become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic ... World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. ... some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and ... main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ) ... Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with respect ... Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June 24, ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... HILL, N.C. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... healthcare decisions and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis ... new environment, patient support programs in the pharmaceutical ... for patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing ... ensure they are providing products and services that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for ... of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, ... Center for Innovation, today announced the five finalists ... Hackathon for Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: