Now, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles made one of the most comprehensive studies on his striped zebras far. They examined 29 different variables such as environmental impact striped zebras in 16 different locations from southern to central Africa.
Scientists found that stripes is closely related to temperature and precipitation in the environment of zebras, and have nothing to do with lions or flies in that region. Thus these findings, published in the “Royal Society Open Science“, suggest that his striped zebras helping to regulate body temperature.
“Constantly tormented not the issue,” the scientists said. “Why do zebras have stripes have to defend themselves from predators? The other animals are predators, so do not have stripes. And other animals from biting flies, so they do not have stripes. “
“Other animals need to regulate body temperature, but zebras digest food very slowly, which means that they spend long periods in the sun while eating, so that additional cooling system to be of great benefit,” the researchers explain.
They noticed that the zebras with thicker and more defined stripes generally lived in the north, equatorial regions, while those with fewer stripes were more common in the southern, cooler regions of Africa, which further supports their theory.
However, this theory has not been experimentally confirmed, and some scientists believe that this effect is not even possible, especially since having a black body hair is the last thing we would want if we try to cool down. Those who refute this theory, support that of flies.
Scientists plan to test the theory of temperature regulation through the study of air current over the body of zebras, or by implanting temperature sensors, if they are granted permission.
However, further research because his striped probably have many uses. His striped back may regulate temperature, but the legs for example, where most biting flies may help in avoiding them.