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📸 by @lance_firmani_photography

Zebra missing its tail.

The primary function of a zebras tail is to swat away insects. Mosquitoes, tsetse flies, horseflies, all of which carry disease, and all of which are a nuisance to zebras and other similar animals. Their tails protect the rear, acting as a simple pendulum – or at least thats what it looks like until you really pay attention to how it operates.

Filming the action with a high-speed camera revealed that where the bone part of the zebra’s tail ends, another pivot point begins. This second pivot point allows the tail to act like a double pendulum, and the second pivot can change direction independently from the first, allowing the animal to aim their strikes and swat a fly before it is able to bite.

Recent studies have determined that the zebra’s stripes are primarily used to keep flies from landing on them altogether. They tested this by observing horses and zebras together and counting the amount of flies that landed on each. As it turns out, the zebras entire body is one big middle finger to flying insects.

The flies actually try to land on them, but something about the black and white striped pattern causes them to misjudge the landing and fail to decelerate in time, causing them to slam into the zebra’s arse and bounce off.

So if you’re tired of mosquito bites, next time you’re at a gathering paint yourself like a zebra and watch your friends get eaten alive, while you, a being of culture, sips colorful drinks and speaks of dogecoin to all of those within earshot.

Any guesses how this particular zebra lost its tail?

I’ll update this later with the answer.


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