U.C. Davis scientists solve zebra stripes mystery

A Grevy's zebra walks in his enclosure at the National Zoo in Washington on Monday Nov. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

April 1, 2014 4:53:56 PM PDT
Scientists at University of California, Davis say they've solved one of nature's most troubling riddles -- why zebras have black and white stripes.

The scientists say that biting flies are the evolutionary driver for zebra stripes. They analyzed several theories for the stripes, including camouflage, social function and heat management.

But in the end, they found zebras had greater striping in parts of the world where there were more biting flies.