A zebra belongs to the family Equidae and is closely related to horses as well as asses. It is one of the most beautiful creatures in the animal kingdom with its characteristic black and white stripes covering the entire body. There are three species known to scientists: mountain, Burchell's and Grevy's.
They are social animals roaming around in the form of herds. These harmless and friendly creatures are herbivores. Despite their calm and harmless nature, they have not been domesticated commonly, like, horses and donkeys.
Zebra Pictures and Physical Traits
The beauty of these unique animals can be observed in a zoo. Zebra pictures can also be seen for the purpose of discovering their interesting physical traits. These pictures can be easily found on the internet as well as in science and nature study books.
Typically, a zebra measures from fifty to fifty two inches in height. The length if its body lies between 6 and 8.5 feet with a weight which can be as much as three hundred and fifty kilograms. Interestingly, it has a long tail which measures eighteen inches in length.
Black and white stripes cover the whole body, except for the underbelly in some of them. In some cases, this part of the body is entirely white in color.
A variety of regions are home to these animals. Zebra habitat consists of open areas like grasslands, woodlands, savannas and scrublands. Some species also exist on mountains and hills where plenty of food is available in the form of grass and other plants.
These animals are mainly found all around the African continent in open grasslands as well as the dry regions of desserts. They can also be found in the savannahs and grasslands of temperate regions with plenty of vegetation available for them to feed on.
Large herds of these beautiful animals can be seen grazing around in Africa and towards the south of the Sahara desert. The species which exists in sub desert region is that of Grevy's. The members of this species can feed on tough, dry grass found in this arid region. In addition, it can store water for a long time.
The following interesting zebra facts will quench your thirst for knowledge about these amazing animals.
- The pattern of stripes found on the body of each of them is unique. It is a lot like the pattern of fingerprints in humans, distinguishing one unique individual from all others.
- Scientific research has revealed that it is originally a black body with white stripes on it.
- The stripes of these animals are not just for physical beauty, but they serve some useful purposes as well. Most scientists believe that these stripes camouflage the animals from predators who find it hard to distinguish a single one among a herd from far off. Moreover, due to these stripes, these animals are also able to keep away flies.
- The members of the Burchell's species defend their families really well against predators. They are capable of killing hyenas through a single kick.
- The species Greyvy's and Burchell's have been named after popular historical figures. William John Burchell, an explorer from Britain, led to the Burchell. On the other hand, Grevy's specie was named after a French President: Jules Grevy.
- The tufted end of their tails differentiates them from horses. These tails serve the purpose of cooling them down during the hot weather.
- Their coats can dissipate heat, helping them to survive in the hot climate of Africa.
- As compared to the mane of a horse, the hair in their mane is shorter and more erect.
- On average, these animals can live up to twenty-five years in the wild. Their life expectancy is longer in captivity due to lack of predators and a continuous supply of food.
- They are ungulates with only a single toe in each foot.
- When chased by a predator, they run from side to side in order to increase the chances of escaping.
- When they doze off or sleep, they are still found in a standing position.
- Scientists have discovered a way of figuring out the mood of these animals. This mood pattern is revealed through their ears.
- They have a strong sense of hearing and very sharp eyesight. Scientists also believe that these animals can see the whole spectrum of colors. In addition, they also have a strong night vision, enabling them to see clearly at night in order to escape predators.
Like other beautiful animals, these fascinating creatures are also in the danger of extinction. Both the mountain and Grevy's species are endangered. On the other hand, the third species roaming around in the plains can still be found in large numbers.