How are zebras camouflaged?

The black-and-white stripes of zebras might seem like poor camouflage, but these bold markings are thought to create an optical illusion. The stripes of a zebra behave a bit like the stripes on a barber’s pole (appearing to move upwards as the pole spins).

As zebras run, the combined movement of the diagonal stripes on their flanks confuse on-looking predators. The unexpected motion of the stripes makes it hard to keep track of the speed and direction of the animal.