Lions are color blind, so a group of rampaging zebras can be extremely confusing and headache-inducing.
But Gabor Horvath and colleagues from Hungary and Sweden have come up with another explanation: zebra's stripes ward off blood-sucking parasites.
The team pointed out that developing zebra embryos start out with a dark skin, only to develop white stripes afterwards. It's possible that evolution has favored the development of zebra stripes to confuse color-blind predators, as well as ward off blood-thirsty vampires.
Should we do the same to ward off mosquitoes?
Polarotactic tabanids find striped patterns with brightness and/or polarization modulation least attractive: an advantage of zebra stripes, Ádám Egri et. al, J Exp Biol 215, March 1, 2012 736-745.