Why does a ZEBRA have stripes?
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班馬 ZEBRA


斑馬是斑馬亞屬(學名:Hippotigris)和細紋斑馬亞屬(學名:Dolichohippus)的通稱,是一類常見於非洲的馬科動物。斑馬身上有許多的條紋,每隻的條紋都不一樣。一般來說斑馬是社會性動物,習慣群體生活;規模較小的群體由一隻雄性斑馬及若干隻雌性組成,較大的則由幾百隻斑馬組成。斑馬不太擅長奔跑,沒有固定的棲居地,過著遷徙性的生活。成年斑馬一般約2.3米高,肩高約1.5米,體重為300到400公斤,最重的超過410公斤。除了斑紋之外,斑馬還有立起的鬃毛。斑馬跟其近親馬、驢不同,還未被人類真正馴養。現存的斑馬有三種:平原斑馬、細紋斑馬及山斑馬。平原斑馬跟山斑馬都屬於斑馬亞屬的動物,細紋斑馬則為細紋斑馬亞屬的動物。細紋斑馬及驢屬有點類似;而平原斑馬及山斑馬則比較像馬。雖然如此,DNA及分子生物學的數據顯示,斑馬有其獨立的起源,但和馬與驢同屬馬科馬屬。在肯亞的一些地區,平原斑馬經常跟細紋斑馬一起生活。

 

Zebras[a] are African equines with distinctive black-and-white striped coats. There are three extant species: the Grévy's zebra (Equus grevyi), plains zebra (E. quagga) and the mountain zebra (E. zebra). Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. Several theories have been proposed for the function of these stripes, with most evidence supporting them as a form of protection from biting flies. Zebras share the genus Equus with horses and asses, and together they are the only living members of the family Equidae. Zebras belong to the subgenus Hippotigris. They inhabit eastern and southern Africa and can be found in a variety of habitats such as savannahs, grasslands, woodlands, shrublands and mountainous areas.



斑馬究竟為什麼有條紋?


答案: 條紋能夠避免蟲子的叮咬。

在過去的150多年裡,關於斑馬條紋之謎的假說有將近20個。

總的來說,關於斑馬的黑白條紋之謎有4種推論:

1. 斑馬的黑白條紋可以用來躲避掠食者

2. 斑馬的黑白條紋具有社交意義

3. 斑馬的黑白條紋可以調節體溫,讓體感溫度變得涼爽

4. 斑馬的黑白條紋可以用來躲避虻(tabanids ,又稱馬蠅horse flies)攻擊


Why does a zebra have stripes?


There have been many theories to explain the zebra's unmistakable stripes.

Scientists have suggested that each zebra has a unique pattern that lets other animals recognize it.

Or that the mass of black and white in a vast herd provides confusing camouflage that puts off predators.

But this team set out to test exactly what effect the stripes had on a zebra's most irritating and ubiquitous enemy - the blood-sucking horsefly.

As part of their experiment the team put sticky horse models - one white, one black and one zebra-striped - into a fly-infested field. When they collected the flies that had landed and stuck to each of the models, they found that the model zebra attracted by far the fewest flies.

The researchers think that zebras had a black-coated ancestor, which evolved its white stripes in an evolutionary arms race, with an insect that's become the biting, disease-carrying scourge of most horse herds.






2020-09-16
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