The ersatz zebras were observed to demonstrate only 40 fly-repelling behaviours (such as flicking their tails and shaking their heads) every 30 minutes, compared with 53 and 54 fly-repelling behaviours in the others. Researchers tested their theories on 6 Japanese Black cows by either painting zebra-like stripes (black-and-white, see cow ‘a’), painting only black stripes (cow ‘b’) or … The process then repeated so, over nine … Number of biting flies on legs and body (a) and the frequency of total fly-repelling behaviors (b) of the experimental cows. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All it takes to repel pests is a new paint job, researchers say. While unpainted cows and cows with black stripes endured upward of 110 bites in 30 minutes, the black-and-white cows suffered fewer than 60 in the same period, researchers found. A Japanese Black cow painted with zebra stripes. Learn more about Storyblocks: https://www.storyblocks.com/aspectscience More info down below ↴ "Why are these cows striped like zebras?" Instead of using pesticides, painting cows with zebra-like stripes led to 50% reduction in the number of biting flies. published by Japanese scientists in the journal Plos One. (Paint fumes apparently were not enough to deter flies, since black-striped cows were bitten just as often as the control group.) Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT) October 8, 2019. The process then repeated so, over nine days, each cow spent three days striped, painted black or unpainted. Only 55 flies were observed on the zebra cows, compared with 111 on the black-painted cows and 128 on the control cows. On one group, they simply painted zebra-like white stripes on their black hair. That method involves painting the cows with zebra-like stripes, which help camouflage the animals from annoying pests. The reason for zebra stripes has been debated for over 150 years. Painting a cow to look something like a zebra has been found to reduce fly bites by 50%. While cows that were either unpainted or painted with black stripes were found to have around 120 bites in a 30 minute period, cows painted with black and white stripes tended to have fewer than 60 in the same period. “Olfaction is also used by the biting flies to find hosts so painting stripes does not completely remove them,” he added. Flies stop cattle from grazing, feeding and sleeping, and can cause “bunching behaviours”, where cattle jostle for space to escape flies, causing heat stress and injury. In the study, one cow was painted like a zebra with white spray paint, one was given black stripes, and the third was left as it is to confirm which received more bug bites. A photo provided by Japanese researchers from the Aichi Agricultural Research Center and Kyoto University for a study published by PLOS One shows a … Moreover, zebra-striping reduced fly-repelling behaviors by about 20%, indicating that the cows were less bothered by the insects. “We found that painting zebra-like stripes on cows can decrease the incidence of biting flies landing on individuals by 50 percent,” the study concludes. The study, published by Japanese scientists in the journal Plos One, found fly attacks were “significantly reduced” by the disguise. This study took these findings in the clever direction of direct application to livestock animals. About half the number of flies landed on the 'zebra cows' - 55 flies, compared with 111 on the black striped cows and 128 on the unpainted cows. There was over 50% reduction in… A lot of refinement will be necessary before placing stripes on cattle can be widely viable.”, Available for everyone, funded by readers. This study examined whether painting zebra-like stripes on domesticated cows can prevent biting fly attacks. Painting cows with zebra-like stripes may be a simple strategy to keep biting flies at bay. The quagga was the first extinct animal to have its DNA analysed, and this 1984 study launched the field of ancient DNA analysis. According to a new study published in PLOS ONE, when Japanese researchers painted zebra-style stripes on cows, biting flies bothered them half as much than cows without stripes. We found that painting zebra-like stripes on cows can decrease the incidence of biting flies landing on individuals by 50 percent. According to reports, the cows with black stripes and cows with no stripes endured 110 bites in about half an hour. There was over 50% reduction in the number of biting flies seen on … Recently, Japanese researchers decided to see if painting stripes on cowswould result in fewer fly and other insect bites. “In future the development of more effective techniques to ensure the persistence of black-and white stripes on livestock during the biting fly season (3-4 months) may be necessary.”. Keith Bayless, a postdoctoral expert in fly biology at Australia’s CSIRO, welcomed the research and said the hypothesis – that stripes affected the flies’ vision – made sense. Researchers believe painting stripes on to cattle is a world-first and could become an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides. All rights reserved. “They are looking for big, dark, moving shapes. Insect bites can be significantly cut using a cunning disguise, researchers find, Fri 11 Oct 2019 01.29 BST But Bayless said researchers needed to take the next step and address smell as well as sight. Ranchers would need to spray down thousands of cows multiple times a week for best results. Last modified on Fri 11 Oct 2019 14.30 BST. In what was a five-minute process for each animal, researchers painted white, 4cm to 5cm stripes on six pregnant Japanese black cows. The number of biting flies observed on zebra-striped cows was less than half the number seen on unpainted cows and far less than cows painted with black stripes. The insects interfere with cattle grazing and feeding, increase fly-repelling behaviors like foot stamping and head throwing, and cause cattle to bunch together, which increases heat stress and risk of injury, researchers said. The white-striped cows sustained only half as many bug attacks as either of the other groups. No, scientists are not unveiling a new cow-zebra crossbreed, but they are painting cattle with stripes. “The stripes break up the outline of the animal, which confuses the flies. When helpless cows are the victims of fly bites, it stings the humans who own them, too. These cows are dressed up to look like zebras, but not because they’re in the moo-d for Halloween. Stripes help cows avoid pesky fly bites, a new study found. It confirmed that the quagga was more closely related to zebras than to horses, with the quagga and mountain zebra (Equus zebra) sharing an ancestor 3–4 million years ago. Study finds painting cows in zebra stripes reduces fly bites By Robert Taylor on 11/10/2019 In an effort to reduce pesticide use, scientists in Japan have found that painting a cow in zebra stripes drastically reduces bites from pesky flies. But the results of going zebra were undeniable. “The economic impact of biting flies on the United States cattle production was estimated at $2.2bn per year. We found that painting zebra-like stripes on cows can decrease the incidence of biting flies landing on individuals by 50%. Painting cows with zebra-like stripes may be a simple strategy to keep biting flies at bay. A team of Japanese researchers recruited six cows and gave them each black-and-white stripes, black stripes and no stripes. A recent paper describes how a group of scientists painted zebra stripes on cows. Fly bites are more than an annoyance. The cows were most lucky when they got the white zebra stripes. I think it makes sense and could be useful for farmers in the future.”. Matanel Rot , 26/10/19 23:36 The cows with black stripes and unpainted cows endured over 110 fly bites while the black-and-white cows only suffered less than 60 bites. “Direct comparisons of painted cattle with zebras in field experiments would be useful. If so, it could ease one of the most persistent pest problems that face cattle. It was stated that the Zebra stripes were exquisite in nature and that helped in sending away the problem causing insects. But researchers believe this is the first time cattle have been painted and studied in such a way. Biting flies are serious livestock pests that cause economic losses in animal production. On … Scientists then watched the animals. But fewer bites would improve the health of the cows, which would benefit the economy. “This phenomenon has been explained as modulation brightness or polarized light,” the authors wrote. (CNN)A cow's days of fly-shooing and hoof-stomping might soon be over. The researchers now say more work is needed, both to confirm the link and to develop less labor-intensive ways of ensuring cows remain patterned and zebra-like. So, taking their zebra research findings to a more practical level, the scientists decided to expand their research to “black and white striped cattle.” They got three groups of black cattle. “March flies and other biting flies have huge eyes and vision is important for finding animals to bite and suck their blood,” he said. I know I’ve seen horse flies chasing slowly driving cars, for instance. The apparent effects of the stripes were remarkable. Two of the cows were painted with white stripes, two with black stripes and two were left unpainted for a control. They'll bunch, or group close together, to prevent fly attacks, which can increase their risk of heat stress and injury. Since they can't swat flies away, cows exert significant energy to avoid them, researchers said. The researchers found that painting zebra-like stripes on cows decreased the incidence of biting flies landing on individuals by around 50 percent. As a result, cows painted with white stripes showed 20% reduction in fly-repelling behaviour. Plus, Make like a zebra to avoid insect bites, scientists say. The stripes were drawn freehand, using “commercial waterborne white lacquers” that faded easily. Biting flies interfere with cows' grazing, feeding and bedding, and they're estimated to cost the cattle industry. Biting flies cause huge problems for cows, but scientists may have found a very strange way to combat the problem. a CONT: no stripe cattle, B&W: black-and-white striped cattle with white lacquer, which indicates “striped-cattle” indicates “striped-horse (zebra)” in Japanese), B: black-striped cattle with black lacquer. Two of the cows were painted with white stripes, two with black stripes and two were left unpainted for a control. The scientists believe the striped pattern confuses the fly’s motion detection and deters the pests. “Biting flies are the most damaging arthropod pests of cattle worldwide,” the report said. The next step after field experiments is to understand better how the fly eye works with physiological data, what it really sees or not in terms of the stripes, in order to refine the colour pattern. Meanwhile, the test subjects with the black and white stripes were bitten 60 times in the same time period. Cows are being painted with zebra stripes to test odd theory - and it works. They took photos of the cow's painted right side, counting the number of bites as they happened and watching how the cows reacted. Zebra-striped cows might not look like the African wild horse, but they get the same benefits from their coloring. A team of researchers painted Japanese black cows with black-and-white stripes as part of the experiment based on the observation that the stripes on zebras seem to … The cows with black lines were bitten 111 times on average. Painting cattle with zebra-like stripes could be the answer to preventing fly attacks, according to a new study. Previous studies have found that flies are less likely to land on horses wearing striped blankets and other objects painted with stripes. The laquered bovines were then observed. Make like a zebra to avoid insect bites, scientists say While unpainted cows and cows with black stripes endured upward of 110 bites in 30 minutes, the … The scientists that turned a cow into a zebra Scientists discover the real reason for the fashionable selection of zebra stripes. Zebra Botswana by Paul Maritz via Biting flies do considerable damage to cattle and you might say they are the bane of a cow's existence. A group of agricultural researchers are giving cows zebra-like … The research report, “Cows painted with zebra-like striping can avoid biting fly attack,” was carried out by Kojima T., et al and published in PLOS ONE, October 2019. While the unpainted cows had an average of 128 fly bites, the cows with zebra stripes had only 55. Six Japanese Black cows were involved in the study with different paint designs; treatments included black-and-white stripes, black stripes and no stripes. 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