For centuries, observers of the majestic animals have wondered, “Why do zebras have stripes?” Now, we may have an answer.
New research strongly suggests that zebras’ stripes are an evolutionary mechanism developed to deter parasitic flies. The idea that flies have an aversion to the stripes dates back to the early 1930s.
"Conversely, there is no consistent support for camouflage, predator avoidance, heat management or social interaction hypotheses. Susceptibility to ectoparasite attack is discussed in relation to short coat hair, disease transmission and blood loss."