Why Zebras Have Stripes - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-13-2019, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Why Zebras Have Stripes

Several articles have come out stating that zebras have stripes because it confuses biting flies.

Article

So, I decided to try it myself. I bought zebra striped fly sheets. So far, the horses seem to be much more comfortable. They aren't hiding in the shade constantly. I hope the sheets last more than a day or two. Time will tell.

They are cute anyway.
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Celeste
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-13-2019, 04:24 PM
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I always thought it's CO2 and heat they use for navigation... Do they not know where to land?
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-13-2019, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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According to the article (I hyperlinked to it in the upper thread), they are attracted to the zebras, but when they get ready to land, the stripes make it difficult to decide where to land. They just hover and don't make a hit. It disturbs their vision.

Correct. They don't know where to land.
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-13-2019, 08:34 PM
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This is fascinating - thanks for posting! And the blankets looks very cute. Do the flies leave the legs alone more this way too? Over here, the legs are the most savaged bits, when the biting flies descend in early autumn...

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post #5 of 9 Old 04-13-2019, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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I really don't know about the legs yet. I only put the fly sheets on today. As of today, the flies seemed to totally disappear. We had ridden two of them, so they had spray on their legs.

I think that you can buy leg wraps as well.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-13-2019, 10:32 PM
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They look very happy in their new outfits


Yes, zebra stripes confuse the flies. I believe the stripes developed under the pressure of tse-tse flies (spelling????). The zebras with the most prominent stripes didn't get bitten as much -> didn't get sick -> had offspring and the offspring inherited the stripes...
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-13-2019, 10:33 PM
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Having now read the abstract properly, they did say the uncovered heads were just as bitten with a zebra blanket as without. So I guess it's elastic-fabric zebra-striped horse leggings for us here in Australia!

With matching riding pants!

Maybe I could knit some...

...as you can see, I already have the matching top!

Benjamin comes with his own zebra striping on his legs. I'll have to watch how his legs fare when the insect hordes come in...



You can see with him that donkeys are more closely related to zebras than horses!


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Last edited by SueC; 04-13-2019 at 10:40 PM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-13-2019, 10:39 PM
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Us girls, eh?

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post #9 of 9 Old 04-14-2019, 12:48 AM
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I love the zebra fly sheets!


I have a Zebra fly mask for my girl.....mainly because I thought it was cute.
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There's a lot of stupid out there!
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