Jennifer Deutschmann

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Prosecutors continue to fight for justice in the death of Travis Alexander. As they have stated, his death was exceptionally brutal and premeditated. They are willing to do what it takes to make sure Jodi Arias is punished accordingly.\n
Let's clear up any confusion. Anyone asking 4 donation$ right now on my behalf 4 my appeals is not legit.

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— Jodi Arias (@Jodiannarias) June 22, 2013

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Jodi Arias has swayed between asking directly for the death penalty and fighting against it with every deal she can imagine. No formal deal has been initiated. However, her statements over the weekend suggest that she continues to fight for her life.

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[Image via rusplt.ru]

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Man Rides Shark Off Florida Coast [Video]

A man rode a shark off the Florida coast, and it was all caught on film. Chris Kreis, age 19, and his family, were boating in the Gulf of Mexico when the teen suddenly jumped off the back of the boat and latched on to a passing shark.

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The whale shark's massive size did not deter the teen. As reported by ABC News, the shark was close to 30 feet long and likely weighed close to 50,000 pounds. Luckily the shark did not seem annoyed by Kreis' presence on its back.

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Kreis held onto the shark's dorsal fin as it pulled him through the sparkling blue water. The teen explains what prompted him to hitch a ride with the whale shark:

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\"I decided, you know what, maybe I should go try and swim with him. I might not be able to do it ever again.\"

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The man rode the shark for around 10 seconds before it began to descend. At that point Kreis decided to let go and return to the boat.

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As reported by WTSP, whale sharks are not generally aggressive. They are known to be quite gentle. However, interacting with sea creatures is not advised.

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Whale sharks are not listed as endangered, so Kreis will not face criminal charges for his interaction. Thankfully, the teen was not harmed while riding the shark. Unfortunately, he may have caused harm to the shark.

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Humans who interact with sharks and other sea life not only risk their safety, they also risk disturbing a delicate balance. Whale sharks and many other fish are covered with a layer of \"slime\" that is meant to protect their skin. If that coating is wiped off it can lead to negative health issues.

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Authorities have protected some species' with laws preventing human interaction. Manatees are friendly and gentle. However, they are protected by Florida law. The law bans any interference with the manatees, including touching, hugging, and harassing.

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As for Kreis, he states that he would \"absolutely swim with another whale shark.\" In the video, the man rides the shark as his family cheers him on. Luckily the stunt did not cause him or the shark any apparent harm.\n

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[Image via Flickr]

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Teen Revived After Drowning: Over 30 Minutes Underwater

An Oregon teen was revived after drowning. Cesar Campuzano, age 15, spent 30 minutes underwater before he was rescued.

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Cesar and several friends were hanging out near the docks at Roger's Landing on Tuesday. According to authorities, a few of Cesar's friends decided to go swimming in the river. Cesar opted out as he did not know how to swim.

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His friends explain that as they were leaving the water, Cesar decided to jump in. His friends suspect he thought the water was shallow.

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He began to struggle immediately. Two other boys tried to help him out of the river but he apparently struggled against their efforts, forcing them to leave him in the water and seek help.

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As reported by ABC News, the friends contacted authorities within minutes. Unfortunately, they did not arrive with proper equipment until 20 minutes later. Yamhill County Sheriff's Office Captain Tim Svenson explains the delay:

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\"It took 20 minutes for for the fire department to get to the station, to get a boat and the appropriate personnel — people equipped to dive ... there are part-time/volunteer members and we were waiting for them to assemble ... that was the quickest they could get together.\"

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It took nearly 10 more minutes for rescue personnel to assemble at the scene and locate Cesar Campuzano. He spent more than 30 minutes underwater and was found unresponsive.

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Utilizing CPR and AED, the teen was revived after drowning. Cesar was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon via airlift.

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12-Year-Old Hero Rescues Sister From Frozen Pond [Video]

A 12-year-old hero rescued his sister from a frozen pond in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Saturday. Tony Buuck saved the life of his eight-year-old sister Sammy when he rushed to the pond in the family's backyard to rescue his little sister.

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The little girl was playing on ice, covering the family's pond, when the ice cracked and she fell into the frigid water. Sammy immediately screamed for help. Fortunately her brother, who was playing basketball, heard her cries and rushed to the pond.

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As reported by ABC News, Tony carefully made his way across the ice toward his sister, but the unstable ice started to crack. The ice broke away under his feet and he fell into the water with his little sister.

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Unsure what to do, Tony grabbed the hood of his sister's coat and held her head above water. He continued holding her as they both yelled for help.

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Dale Buuck heard his children screaming and ran outside to the pond. Tony continued holding his sister's hood as their father managed to pull them both to the shore. When Dale pulled the children from the water he realized his eight-year-old daughter was unresponsive.

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The 12-year-old hero ran inside the house and called 911. He remained on the phone with the dispatcher until help arrived.

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The EMS team responded quickly and were able to revive the little girl. The father and both children were taken to the hospital for treatment and were eventually released without injury. The family credits Tony's heroic efforts for saving his sister's life.

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Pennsylvania State University offers information on pond and ice safety, as many children are injured or die falling through ice every winter.

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It is suggested that anyone playing or skating on ice should never do so alone. Rescue equipment such as rope or a pole, kept close to the perimeter, can be helpful if a rescue becomes necessary.

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Snow covered and uneven ponds should be avoided entirely as it is more difficult to determine the depth of the ice. Generally clear ice is much thicker and stronger than white or opaque ice, which is usually filled with air bubbles.

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The 12-year-old hero knew exactly what to do when he rescued his sister from the frozen pond. Tony is not entirely comfortable being considered a hero, but his father and sister have no doubt.

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[Image via Flickr]

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Eriovixia Gryffindori: Newly Discovered Spider Looks Like 'Harry Potter' Sorting Hat

The Eriovixia gryffindori, which is a newly discovered spider species, bears a striking resemblance to the \"sorting hat\" in the Harry Potter fantasy series. As a tribute to the books and films, Javed Ahmed and Rajashree Khalap, who discovered the unusual spider, named it after the hat's original owner Godric Gryffindor.

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[Image by Silmairel/Shutterstock]

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Per a recent paper, which was published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology, the small female spider was discovered during a survey to collect, identify, and document Araneae in the Western Ghats in Karnataka, India.

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The Westen Ghats, according to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, are unique forestlands, which \"are internationally recognized as a region of immense global importance for the conservation of biological diversity, besides containing areas of high geological, cultural, and aesthetic values.\" The region is considered one of the \"hottest hotspots of biological diversity\" in the world.\n

Meet Eriovixia gryffindori: new leaf mimic #spider discovered in India named after the Sorting Hat from #HarryPotter https://t.co/UdymolY9gy pic.twitter.com/CrtsF8hmMd

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— IFLBiodiversity (@IFLBiodiversity) December 15, 2016

\nLive Science reported that Javed Ahmed and Rajashree Khalap discovered the Eriovixia gryffindori in a small shrub in the Western Ghats. Although it closely resembles a variety of other spiders in the Eriovixia genus, the newly discovered spider had several attributes, including its genital structure, which are unique enough to classify it as a new species.

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[Image by Angelika Smile/Shutterstock]

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Like other spiders in the Eriovixia genus, Eriovixia gryffindori is an orb-weaving spider, which disguises itself as a dried leaf. However, the shape of the newly discovered spider also resembles the notorious \"sorting hat\" in the Harry Potter series.

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In the Harry Potter novels and movies, the magical sorting hat was used to group Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry students into \"houses\" based on their talents and personalities. According to legend, the sorting hat was originally owned by a gentleman named Godric Gryffindor, who was one of the four founders of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.\n

\nJaved Ahmed and Rajashree Khalap discuss their decision to name their newly discovered spider species after Godric Gryffindor in their paper.\n
\"This uniquely shaped spider derives its name from the fabulous, sentient magical artifact, the sorting hat, owned by the (fictitious) medieval wizard Godric Gryffindor... and stemming from the powerful imagination of Ms. J. K. Rowling... An ode from the authors, for magic lost, and found, in an effort to draw attention to the fascinating, but oft overlooked world of invertebrates, and their secret lives.\"
\nEriovixia gryffindori is not the only uniquely or unusually named species in the animal world. Unlike astronomical bodies, the names of newly discovered species are not reviewed by oversight committees and there are few rules.

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As explained by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, researchers are expected to \"exercise reasonable care and consideration in forming new names to ensure that they are chosen with their subsequent users in mind and that, as far as possible, they are appropriate, compact, euphonious, memorable, and do not cause offense.\" They are also required to state the derivation of the scientific name in publications introducing the new species.

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As reported by SmithsonianMag.com, dozens of species are given interesting scientific names by the researchers who discovered their existence.

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Smithsonian's list includes a spider named Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi and a tapeworm named Acanthobothrium zimmeri in honor of science writer Carl Zimmer.

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The names of some species, including Gollumjapyx smeagol, Oxyprimus galadrielae, Macrostyphlus frodo, and M. gandalf, refer to books written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Others, including Cassiopeia andromeda, Clossiana thore, Stegodon ganesa, Papio anubis, Alabagrus coatlicue, A. ixtilton, A. mixcoatl, A. xolotl, Lucifer, Mephisto and Satan, were named in reference to mythology and religion.

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Some species' names, including Rabilimis mirabilis, Orizabus subaziro, Cedusa medusa, Agra phobia, Gelae baen, Ytu brutus, and Pieza pi are anagrams, palindroms, puns, and rhymes.

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The Eriovixia gryffindori spider is only 0.3 inches in length. However, its name is a tremendous credit to J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series. In response to the news, Rowling said she is \"truly honored.\"

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[Featured Image by Sugarless/Shutterstock]

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Brianne Altice: Teacher Defends Sexual Abuse Of Students, Blames The Parents

Utah teacher Brianne Altice, who is serving a two-year sentence after admittedly having forcible sexual relations with three of her students, has justified her actions, verbally lashing out at the parents of one of her young victims.

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Brianne Altice, who taught English at a high school in Kaysville, was arrested in October 2013 after authorities discovered she had sex with a 15-year male student. In the following months, two other victims stepped forward leading to over a dozen felony charges.

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Huffington Post reports Altice was terminated from her job in February, after being placed on administrative leave by the Davis School District. She was hired in 2004 and served in several different posts before becoming an English teacher in August 2012.

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Altice was released from the Davis County Correctional Facility on a $10,000 bond. However, following her release, she resumed having sex with one of her victims.

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The student, who was 17 at the time, said he considered Altice a girlfriend, even though she was admittedly having sex with two other male students. During police questioning, the teen admitted having oral and penetrative sex with the teacher between November 2013 and September 2014. The encounters reportedly took place in her vehicle and home when her husband was not around.

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Altice's defense team convinced the judge to treat the cases separately as opposed to combining them into one trial. Prosecutors were disappointed with the judge's ruling, as Brianne Altice was facing a more severe sentence if the charges were combined. In exchange for a plea bargain, prosecutors dropped 11 other charges against Altice -- including first-degree felony rape.

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In her own defense, the disgraced teacher argued that she was emotionally damaged and simply committed a blunder when she succumbed to sexual overtures from her students. She will have her first parole hearing in 2017 and could face even more time in prison on other charges, which have yet to be filed.

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According to Daily Mail, Brianne Altice is now facing a civil lawsuit, which the parents of one of her victims filed against her and the Davis School District in Salt Lake City.

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In response to the lawsuit, Brianne Altice said the victim in question complained about a nonexistent relationship with his parents on numerous occasions. The convicted sex offender also criticized the patents for failing to show up for parent-teacher conferences.

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The 37-year-old teacher also addressed claims that she wore \"risqué\" clothing to work, saying she was never disciplined over her choice of clothes. Altice insists her sexual relations with the students were without \"evil or malicious intent.\"\n

FEMALE TEACHER, BRIANNE ALTICE, DEFENDS SEXUAL ABUSE OF HER TEENAGE MALE STUDENTS https://t.co/ptRIu0YtzB #Crime #B pic.twitter.com/oSInyUbyA4

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— EBN (#Elygantthings) (@EBNAdvertising) April 8, 2016

\nThe formerly married English teacher discussed these issues in a two-page letter to the court, which was written in response to the recently filed lawsuit. She also contends she does not have the means to defend herself against the lawsuit. \"I cannot afford proper counsel to defend myself. I will respond to what I can to the best of my ability,\" she wrote.

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In the two-page letter, Brianne Altice also responded to allegations that she coerced the boys to spend time with her and skip their classes, an allegation which she denies. Altice countered the allegation, saying she allowed both male and female students to spend time in her classroom and was always available to students during their lunch break or before and after class.\n

Morgen cijfers van beursbengel #Altice. Niet Brianne Altice. https://t.co/P7evGZniiD (je kunt geld verliezen) #AEX pic.twitter.com/pt9qRZafAa

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— BUX NL (@BUX_NL) March 14, 2016

\nAccording to the lawsuit, school officials were aware of the former Utah teacher's behavior with male students and refused to do anything about it. The plaintiffs claim Brianne Altice's sexual relations with students were an \"open secret\" and became a disturbing joke among students and other teachers, who regularly asked, \"Who is Ms. Altice sleeping with now?\"

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The parents of the teenage victim said the former teacher preyed on and flirted with male students, passing them notes during class and even planning romantic picnics.

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The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Brianne Altice and the school are seeking an undisclosed amount in damages for mental, emotional, and physical anguish as well as expenses that will be incurred from therapy and counseling sessions. A date for the trial has not been set at this time.

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[Image via Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, Pool, File]

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Zebra Stripes Are Probably Not For Camouflage, According To Recent Study

Zebra stripes are probably not for camouflage, according to a recent study conducted by the University of California Davis in conjunction with the University of Calgary. Although the camouflage hypothesis is long-standing and was widely accepted, the reasoning may be flawed, as scientists have always viewed the magnificent animals \"through human eyes.\"

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Out to Africa explains the camouflage hypothesis, which is commonly attributed to biologist and naturist Alfred Russel Wallace.

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\"The black and white stripes are a form of camouflage called disruptive coloration that breaks up the outline of the body. Although the pattern is visible during daytime, at dawn or in the evening when their predators are most active, zebras look indistinct and may confuse predators by distorting true distance.\"

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In addition to camouflaging, or crypsis, there are four other hypotheses about zebra stripes. National Geographic reports scientists have suggested the bold patterns may serve to confuse predators, reduce body temperature, repel insects, or aid in social interaction.

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Although numerous studies have been conducted to determine why zebras have stripes, it is still unclear whether they serve one specific purpose or a combination of several.

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Biologists from the University of California, Los Angeles, concluded that \"temperature is the factor most strongly linked to striping: More specifically, the warmer it is, the more stripes on the zebra.\"

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The researchers, who published their results in the journal Royal Society Open Science in January 2015, studied 16 different African zebra populations.

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National Geographic reports the biologists compared \"29 different environmental factors\" to determine whether they were related to the zebras' stripe density and patterns.

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The researchers have two theories that may explain why the stripes were denser on zebras living in warmer climates.

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Brenda Larison, who led the study, noted zebras in warmer climates have \"lower skin temperature than other non-striped animals in the same area.\" This may be due to the \"cooling eddy\" theory, which suggests currents of warm air move faster over the zebra's black stripes and slow down over the white stripes. As the speed of their air flows conflict, they could form eddies, which may cool the zebras' skin.

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The other theory suggests the striping patterns serve to confuse biting flies, which are more prominent in warmer climates.

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An early study, conducted by researchers at Sweden's Lunds University, also supports the theory that the stripes are a natural insect repellant.

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As reported by National Geographic, the researchers used patterned and plain glue strips to determine which ones attracted and which ones repelled biting flies.

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The biologists concluded the strips with a black and white zebra stripe pattern attracted fewer flies. Evolutionary ecologist Susanne Åkesson, who led the study, said the zebra stripe pattern essentially confuses the flies and repels them away from the animals' skin.

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Zebra stripes don't serve to camouflage, research reveals, but they do have a purpose >> https://t.co/qTtwjcKkBl pic.twitter.com/KIEwcG1ToT

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— Discovery (@Discovery) January 26, 2016

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Although the stripes may serve as a form of camouflage to protect zebras from biting flies, a recent study dispels theories that the patterns also protect them from larger predators.

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Voice of America reports the University of California Davis and University of Calgary researchers found zebra stripes do not provide protection from predators, as they will likely smell the animals before they would see them. Therefore, a visible camouflage would essentially be useless.

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Zebra's distinctive black and white stripes are not a camouflage https://t.co/r781CfRh25 pic.twitter.com/whjzANMVGr

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— Voice of America (@VOANews) January 25, 2016

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The researchers also concluded the stripes, as seen through predators eyes, simply do not \"disrupt the outline\" of the zebra's body as previously believed.

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Wildlife biology professor Tim Caro, who co-authored the University of California Davis and University of Calgary study, said the research clearly disproves zebra stripes serve as a form of camouflage.

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\"The results from this new study provide no support at all for the idea that the zebra's stripes provide some type of anti-predator camouflaging effect... Instead, we reject this long-standing hypothesis... \"

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The study also discredits theories that zebras use the stripes for identification purposes.

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Although the researchers did not reach a conclusion as to what purpose zebra stripes do serve, they suggest the theory about deterring biting flies is the most probable.

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[Image via Jamen Percy/Shutterstock]

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