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:6/25/2016)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, ... their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of ... Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from ... avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this ... coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty ... Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. ... and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen ... and manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical ... that Bill Messer has joined the ... further leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets ... Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and ... dumb structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... "The World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to ... World Market for Companion Diagnostics The World ... diagnostic and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report ... Diagnostics Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: