Tuesday, April 1, 2014


UC Davis researchers have discovered that zebras developed their stripes in response to biting flies. Ouch!

They found that the stripes work at keeping the flies away by disrupting the light patterns used by the flies to find food and water.

The article described the biting flies as an annoyance to zebras. I find it interesting that such a peculiar trait would arise from annoyance. Any ideas on why the biting flies would cause such an extreme evolutionary change?



John Latto said...

Tsetse flies can vector animal trypanosomiasis. Also blood loss due to the biting flies can apparently be 'considerable' - they cite a paper that says blood loss can be 200-500cc per cow per day from tabandid flies in the US!

Henry Morse said...

Holy Cow! That's a lot of blood!