Zebras' stripes could be used to control their temperature

New research indicates that zebras' stripes are used to control body temperature, and reveals for the first time a new mechanism for how this may be achieved.

The authors argue it is the special way zebras sweat to cool down and the small-scale convection currents created between the stripes which aid evaporation, while the previously unrecorded ability of zebras to erect their black stripes is a further aid to heat loss. These three elements are key to understanding how the zebras' unique patterning helps them manage their temperature in the heat.