Thursday, 30 November 2017

Why predators have such crazy faces

By Michael PriceNov. 29, 2017 , 2:05 PM

The eyes of the spectacled bear sit in disks of black fur on a stark white face. The African civet sports a necklace of dark and light bands. And hundreds of other mammalian predators have their own unique facial and chest markings that scientists have struggled to explain. Now, a new study is helping unravel some of the mystery.

Prey animals develop spots and stripes on their bodies to blend in with their environments and avoid detection; think the zebra. Many predators do, too, but even those without body camouflage still sport patterns on their face and chest, suggesting the markings aren’t all about blending in.

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