The Secret of Zebra Strips

    THE SECRET OF ZEBRA STRIPS  
When I was a kid, there used to be a question in quiz competition  that “which came first- the egg or chicken?" We struggled to answer those days. But if you ask the same now to the present generation, your children will respond immediately saying that the egg came first … because they say that the dinosaurs were laying eggs before chickens....!
Another common quiz question, whether the zebra has white in black or black in white strips? Certainly it will make anybody think a while!
The striped pattern of zebras comes about from a genetic process called selective pigmentation. For Zebra black is the predominant, actual color pigmentation and the part of the zebras coat that does not contain pigmentation which appears as the white stripes.
At first glance zebras in a herd might all look alike, but their stripe patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints are in man. Scientists can identify individual zebras by comparing patterns, stripe widths, color and scars.
The black and white stripes are a form of camouflage called disruptive coloration that breaks up the outline of the body. Although the pattern is visible during daytime, at dawn or in the evening when their predators are most active, zebras look indistinct and may confuse predators by distorting true distance.
Zebras have shiny coats that dissipate over 70 percent of incoming heat and the pattern of narrow stripes which makes the white coat reflects unpolarised light makes zebras “unattractive” to the flies.
REF : http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/article2876103.ece

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