We all know this organism, which has become the African continent with its white lines, but I have always asked myself why the zebra evolved in this way. What is the evolutionary benefit that made these white lines provide a survival benefit to him compared to other features found in other organisms living in the same environment?
In the research, there are some hypotheses that can be refuted as quickly as the hypothesis of camouflage of predators or the hypothesis that these colors prevent the polarization of certain insects such as the mosquito and the law does not transfer some deadly diseases.
In fact, if the camouflage hypothesis is correct, we should find this feature in other organisms living in the same conditions as the zebra. For example, we should find striped deer or other animals that have a kind of line for camouflage. The camouflage hypothesis assumes that black (the first predator of the zebra) has difficulty in hunting the planned zebra, but this is simply not true because of the black catch the wild donkeys continuously without any little benefit to camouflage. Yes, black sees only two colors, and these lines may contribute to hiding the zebra among the herbs, but if any benefit to these lines is a result and not the main motive for development.
The concept of the dimensions of flying insects says that the black color of the horse’s hoop generally attracts a kind of flying insects. The light polarity reflected on the back of the black horse resembles the polarization of light reflected from the pools of water and marshes where these insects place their eggs. Therefore, the presence of white near the black color changes Of the reflected polarity reflected by the zebra, which prevents insects from landing on its back. This hypothesis also does not explain the absence of these lines on horseback in geographical places other than the African environment. For example, we do not find planned horses in Asia, Europe or the Americas. Yes, some may say that these horses are hybrid, but we find no evidence of the appearance of these lines on any species except on the African continent and what we call the monster specifically.
The hypothesis that I find consistent with the theory of evolution is the cooling hypothesis as the lines on the back of the zebra act as an external cooling system for the body through which I will explain it in the next lines.
How does the cooling process occur?
The color relationship must first be explained by the ability to absorb sunlight as this African organism lives in an environment exposed to sunlight all day long. Without entering the physical details of the colors, but the colors are a reflection of the light waves on the materials around us. For example, when we look at a blue car, we look at a body coated with a material that absorbs all the wavelengths of light, with wavelengths of about 475 nm or what we translate in our brain in blue. When looking at tree leaves, we look at the organic matter that has electrons that absorb all photons and reflect only photons of 510 nanometers or what we call green. When we look at a yellow material, it is a substance with electrons that absorbs all the wavelengths in the wavelengths of about 570 nm which we translate in yellow. When we look at a transparent material, we look at a material that has electrons so stimulating that it needs light waves that are higher than the visible waves for us. To be absorbed by the electrons, it seems to us to be transparent. When we look at materials of different colors, they are different atoms with different characteristics that reflect the light waves with the frequencies we can monitor.
Living organisms in an environment exposed to sunlight for long periods have evolutionary pressure (ie, those who do not have this feature died) to produce a chromosome that protects them from sun damage. Sun rays negatively affect the DNA accuracy of organisms and therefore organisms that did not have the ability to protect themselves from ultraviolet rays have become extinct leaving the field for organisms that have melanin chromosomes. The melanin chromosome occurs in the body when the body is exposed to ultraviolet light, which changes the skin color of the ester more. This chromosome is present in humans and most of the living organisms that are exposed to sunlight.
The primary color of the zebra is black but an evolutionary pressure gave survival preference to all individuals with white spots on their bodies. What is this evolutionary benefit?
When you see the horse in general and the zebra in particular, their digestion is not as effective as their other counterparts in the herbivores, so the zebra spends more time on the weed. The horse has a relatively small stomach relative to the size of the body and has a digestive system closer to humans than other livestock and therefore it takes a long time to complete the process of eating and digestion, which expose it to the sun for longer periods.
Although the melanin chromosome protects DNA from sun damage, the melanin-black color absorbs all the incoming light spectrum and converts it into thermal energy. I have previously stated that colors are the absorption of all light frequencies and reversing a particular frequency, which appears to the human eye in the form of “color”. But color is not a fundamental thing but a brain translation of this optical reflection only. The black color is only the embodiment of the phenomenon of absorption of all light frequencies and not reverse any of them. The color of the melanin chromosome is a chemical result, not a color related to the process of protection from solar radiation. The black color absorbs the heat of the sun and thus raises the temperature and in turn, the living quarters have to find a way to get rid of this excess heat.
In the case of man, the human body develops so that sweat is excreted in order to cool the body and in the case of the zebra, the body develops so that parts of the body appear without melanin. The physical benefit of the absence of melanin is the constant thermal transfer from the top to the bottom (entropy). Therefore, the absorbed heat moves towards the colder spots on the body. This thermal transition is similar to the mechanism that produces wind on the planet, as the sun is heating the air up, but it begins to move towards the areas that are less hot than we think in the form of wind.
The Zebra’s cooling system is like a very small wind caused by the temperature imbalance between its skin spots, which contributes to the cooling of the body in general. If this hypothesis is correct, we must find a correlation between the geographical location (temperature) with the range of white luminosity spread on the zebra body.
As mentioned previously, this hypothesis has not been verifiably tested but it is the most correct so far.
Imagine that sweating in humans corresponds to the evolution of beautiful white lines on the zebra’s body and that these white lines on the zebra depend on the same physical mechanism that the wind forms.