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From a study published in Communications Biology in August by researchers at the University of New South Wales and the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust. Scientists believe eye­like body patterns evolved to either intimidate predators or draw them to attack non-­vital areas of the body. The markings appear on non-­mammals, such as cobras, but they are not known to occur on any mammals. As in the photograph above, taken by Cameron Radford, researchers painted eyes on the backsides of cattle in Africa and measured whether the markings had any effect in preventing attacks from lions and leopards. They found that cows with eyes painted on them were 1.8 percent less likely to be killed.

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November 2020

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