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Feedback to 'Why Tigers have stripes'


no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes. They are also different on each side of an individual's body. The Sumatran tiger has the most stripes of all the tiger subspecies, and the Siberian tiger has the fewest.(Tiger Facts)

I´think that siberian tiger is fattest subspecies and have fewest stripes. So your original hypothesis seems to be right?

Tigers vertical stripes could also be arranged by gravitation. So, if tigers used to walk upright and had vertical stripes, caused by gravity. It seems that tigers have lost their upright vertical stripes during evolution and tiger with crawling stripes has evolved after upright walking tigers. Actually it`s hard to distinguish which model was evolved first or could we see in a future tigers walking upright with horizontal stripes which will turn to vertical stripes as times go by?

If we can witness that miracle my friend.

We will know are vertical stripes result of vanity (looking fat) or basic physics (gravity). However, vertical stripes really make you look thinner and make you a better swimmer.

Tigers like water and they are excellent swimmers. (Tigers like water and they are excellent swimmers - Tiger Facts)

A Researcher of Life


Dear Researcher of Life,

We admire your perseverence. Not everybody sends the same email 11 times. But you were dedicated enough to do so.

It seems that events have turned into an unexpected corner. At least three new evolutionary correlations have already been pointed out by our readers.

1. The stripes of the tiger reflect rank and authority similar to military decorations.

2. Stripe patterns are influenced by gravity.

3. Stripes on tigers not only make them look thinner, they also make them better swimmers.

Or do they just look like better swimmers?

It is an attractive notion that stripes are also correlated to swimming capability. The siberian tiger obviously spends more time in snow than in water. We could postulate even that water is therefore better for swimming than snow. We are going to get to the bottom of this. We have ordered 10 lions from a bankrupt circus and we intend to paint 5 of them in a uniform colour and the remaining 5 in a striped pattern. We suspect that the striped lions should be better swimmers.


Professor at the UOL

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