Science

Zebra stripes work as an elaborate cooling system


The thriller of how and why the zebra acquired its stripes has puzzled scientists for hundreds of years.

However now zoologists imagine the alternating black and white markings act as an elaborate cooling system, making a convection present of air which behaves like a pure fan, serving to to evaporate sweat.

Former biology technician, Alison Cobb and her zoologist husband, Dr Stephen Cobb of the University of Nairobi, measured the temperature of black and white stripes of two wild-born plains zebra at 15 minute intervals on a sunny day in Kenya.

They discovered that by the day the absorbent black stripes rose to temperatures between 111F (44C) and 132F (56C) however the extra reflective white ones stayed between…



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Sarah Knapton

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