Do zebras have black skin with white stripes, or white skin with black stripes, or neither? Explain please

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Do zebras have black skin with white stripes, or white skin with black stripes, or neither? Explain please

In: Biology

Zebras are black with white stripes, although the striping is so ingrained that the distinction is essentially arbitrary. We only know they’re black because of embryological studies that proved black was their “default” and the white parts (where pigmentation is inhibited) are determined later on.

Earlier this year some boffins claim to have figured this out: apparently, the pattern confuses flies, preventing them from landing on zebras:

> The mystery of how the zebra got its stripes might have been solved: researchers say the pattern appears to confuse flies, discouraging them from touching down for a quick bite.

> The study, published in the journal Plos One, involved horses, zebras, and horses dressed as zebras. The team said the research not only supported previous work suggesting stripes might act as an insect deterrent, but helped unpick why, revealing the patterns only produced an effect when the flies got close.

> Dr Martin How, co-author of the research from the University of Bristol, said: “The flies seemed to be behaving relatively naturally around both [zebras and horses], until it comes to landing.

> “We saw that these horseflies were coming in quite fast and almost turning away or sometimes even colliding with the zebra, rather than doing a nice, controlled flight.”

There is more…
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/feb/20/why-the-zebra-got-its-stripes-to-deter-flies-from-landing-on-it