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Zebras look gray to predators

Are zebras black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? According to new research, the answer may be neither, The Atlantic reports. By analyzing images of zebras through special filters designed to stimulate the vision of predators, researchers determined that—beyond a few dozen meters—lions and hyenas actually see the stripy equines as a solid mass of gray. The new finding debunks the notion that zebras’ characteristic patterning is a camouflage defense, the researchers write in PLOS ONE. Of course, that raises another question: Why do zebras have the stripes at all? Recent research suggests that the pattern may discourage flies from biting the fashion-forward creatures.

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