Settling a Heated Debate—Do Zebra Stripes Keep These Animals Cool?
Researchers from Hungary and Sweden investigated whether black and white stripes are actually better at keeping the heat at bay
Last summer, a series of rather unusual water-filled canisters were left to bake in the northern Hungarian sun. Each barrel was outfitted with a different skin: white, black, brown, gray or black-and-white stripes. From far away, they almost resembled the torsos of lazily grazing animals—only, when flies flicked thirstily onto their sides, no tail swatted them away.
Strange as it may seem, biophysicist Gábor Horváth and his colleagues had placed the barrels not for the sake of eccentric art, but to settle an age-old evolutionary debate: why do zebras have stripes?