Pattern seems to confuse flies, researchers who dressed horses up as zebras find

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.

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Read More Why the zebra got its stripes: to deter flies from landing on it

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