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Guys dress up like zebra

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At four in the morning, Tim Caro roused his colleagues. Bleary-eyed and grumbling, they followed him to the edge of the village, where the beasts were hiding. He sat them down in chairs, and after letting their eyes adjust for a minute, he asked them if they saw anything. And if so, would they please point where?

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2 Men Dressed like a Zebra and attacked by Lions – Funny video

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At four in the morning, Tim Caro roused his colleagues. Bleary-eyed and grumbling, they followed him to the edge of the village, where the beasts were hiding. He sat them down in chairs, and after letting their eyes adjust for a minute, he asked them if they saw anything.

And if so, would they please point where? Not real beasts. Despite being camped in Tanzania's Katavi National Park, Caro was asking his colleagues to identify pelts—from a wildebeest, an impala, and a zebra—that he had draped over chairs or clotheslines.

Caro wanted to know if the zebra's stripes gave it any sort of camouflage in the pre-dawn, when many predators hunt, and he needed the sort of replicability he could not count on from the animals roaming the savannah. The experiment was one of hundreds Caro performed over a twenty year scientific odyssey to discover why zebras have stripes—a question that nearly every major biologist since Alfred Russel Wallace has tried to answer.

This is not a book for casual pop science readers. This book is for scientists, or those who wish they'd become scientists. And as treats for the latter, there the anecdotes of Caro's scientific antics: Tales of how he systematically worked through each hypothesis until he figured out the secret of the stripes.

The most popular theories about zebra stripes coalesce around the idea that the markings evolved to help the animals from getting eaten by predators. Zebra stripes could be camouflage. As mentioned earlier, Caro tested this hypothesis by annoying people at dawn. He also annoyed people at dusk. For a week, as the sun went down, he asked his colleagues every five minutes if they could see zebra, and other animal, cutouts in the dimming light.

With a notepad, he'd record their answers, the light conditions, etc. Then he'd ask again, every five minutes, until dark. He took this data and applied it to anatomical information about the zebra's predators—a lion or hyena's eye shape, its number of cones and rods, and the animal's spectral sensitivity to light. Camouflage is only one category in the safe-from-predators theory of striping.

Another is the idea that the stripes warn predators that zebras are dangerous, a strategy called aposematism. Zebras aren't slow, but they are noisy. But are they noisier than other, more blandly-coated savannah herbivores? Caro tested this by parking his Land Rover near herds of impala, zebras, and topi, and recording every snort, grunt, and whinny for half hour increments. Being up close, he also noticed a lot of wounds on the zebra. Another popular predatory theory is that zebra stripes confuse hunters, by creating an optical illusion.

Two or more zebras could look like one animal by fleeing in a tight group. So he made himself the predator, by walking briskly towards large herds of zebra.

Then, the moment they started to run, he would take out his stopwatch, pencil and paper, and start writing down details. They all failed. In fact, so did every tack he took to testing whether the stripes deter large predators.

If you look at the data, lions are really good at killing and eating zebras. A less popular hypothesis is that zebras use their stripes as a form of individual recognition. The fact that zebras could recognize each other isn't controversial—horses do this.

But horses have fairly big brains. So, the theory is zebras would have smaller brains, and would need the stripes as a memory aid. But when they compared zebra brains to other equids, they found no meaningful size difference. In the early s, great naturalist Desmond Morris suggested that, because black stripes absorbed heat, and white reflected it, the temperature difference between the two in the midday sun would create a convection current—a cooling breeze across the zebra's back.

To test this, Caro took an infrared camera into the bush. Not to mention that the physics don't quite work out. Once a zebra starts to move, any air currents flowing across the animal's back would break up. Looking back on how he wound up walking down a dusty Tanzanian road in the midday sun draped in a zebra pelt, Caro admits he should have consulted an insect expert.

He also knew that the insects were attracted to movement. So, he would put on the pelt, trudge for an hour, and have his assistant count the number of tsetse flies that had landed on him. For science, he did the walk again, draped in a wildebeest hide. The flies did not like the stripes! With each new experiment, the evidence lined up to support the anti-insect hypothesis. Eventually, Caro and his colleagues did a map analysis, overlaying the ranges of various biting flies and insects with the places where zebras, and their non-striped cousins like the Asiatic wild ass, ranged.

Caro has no lingering doubts about the connection between flies and stripes. Now, he wants to find out exactly how the flies forced the stripes' evolution. One question is about the flies—why are they repulsed by black and white?

Another is whether the zebras adapted this anti-fly defense because they are particularly susceptible to blood loss, or to diseases the flies carry. Not so annoying anymore.

The University of Chicago Press. Biology Evolution scientific method. View Comments. Sponsored Stories Powered By Outbrain. More Stories. Author: Rhett Allain Rhett Allain. Author: Ethan Porter, Thomas J. Wood Ethan Porter and Thomas J. Author: Daniel Oberhaus Daniel Oberhaus.

The Man in the Zebra Suit Knows the Secret of the Stripes

Wildboyz is an American television series. It is a spin-off and follow-up to Jackass. Steve-O and Chris Pontius are the stars of the show, who perform stunts and acts with animals, often putting themselves in situations for which they are not trained. They travel to different parts of the globe, performing their stunts in exotic environments while educating their audience on wildlife and local culture.

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Wildboyz is an American television series. It is a spin-off and follow-up to Jackass. Wildboyz In another dangerous stunt, the pair dressed up as fake zebras in the Sahara near a lion den Fellow Jackass cast members Johnny Knoxville and Wee-Man also make guest appearances on the show throughout all four seasons  ‎Format · ‎End · ‎Cast and crew · ‎DVD releases.

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