Can Math Explain How Animals Get Their Patterns?

Chris Higgins
YouTube // MinuteEarth
YouTube // MinuteEarth / YouTube // MinuteEarth

In nature, we see all sorts of color patterns on animals: spots, stripes, splotches, mosaics, and labyrinths. How do these patterns develop? Alan Turing, founder of computer science, had a theory about how chemicals reacted and spread. It turns out that Turing's 1952 math can also be applied to the development of visual patterns on animals.

So...did Turing's equations actually predict the animals' markings? The answer is complex (hence the video below breaking it down), but it boils down to "Sometimes yes, sometimes no." If you've ever wondered how (some) animals got their stripes, let MinuteEarth explain: