Sometimes science is weird, but always cool. Scientists believe that a function of a zebra's stripes is to deter insects, so a team of researchers painted black and white stripes on several cows and discovered that it reduced the number of biting flies landing on the cows by more than 50%.
While unpainted cows endured upward of 110 bites in 30 minutes, the black-and-white cows suffered fewer than 60 in the same period, researchers found.
Zebras' stripes have more than aesthetic value; they help fend off bloodsuckers. Past studies have proven flies are less likely to land on black-and-white surfaces, the polarization of light impairs their perception, so they can't properly decelerate.
When helpless cows are the victims of fly bites, it stings the person who own them too. Biting flies interfere with cows' grazing, feeding and bedding, and they are estimated to cost the cattle industry in production loss.
Since they can not swat flies away, cows exert significant energy to prevent fly attacks, which can increase their risk of heat stress and injury. With this new research discovered it will go a long way to help cattle rarers cut production loss hence boost their revenue significantly.