- Zebras are animals that resemble the horse. They walk, trot, canter and gallop like horses, but do not move as quickly. Unlike the horse, zebras have not been domesticated and run wild.
- They are odd-toed ungulates which means they have an odd number of toes on each hoof.
- Their eyes are located on the side of their head, and they have excellent eyesight. Because zebras live in the wild, they need to be able to escape predators. Night vision helps them to see in the dark. Zebras also have great hearing and an excellent sense of taste and smell.
- Three species of zebras live in Africa. The species are the Plains Zebra, which is the most common one, the Mountain Zebra, and the Grevy Zebra.
- Zebras are a short, stocky animal that is generally about 8 feet long and stands between 4 and 5 feet at the shoulder. They can weigh up to 650 pounds.
- The have black coats with white stripes and a short, coarse mane that stands straight up in the air. Their shiny coats help control the heat from the sun. The stripes on a zebra are very much like fingerprints. No two patterns are alike.
- Many zoologists believe that a Zebra’s stripes act as camouflage. The vertical stripes blend into the vertical grasses that grow in its habitat. Even though the strips are white on a black background, the zebras main predator, the lion, is color-blind and when standing in tall grass may not be seen.
- Zebras live in social groups. The leader of the group is the stallion. The females that live in the group are called fillies. A female zebra can have her first foal by the age of three, and can give birth to a foal every twelve months.
- Zebra foals are brown in color when they are born and are close to their mothers, but the male foal is also close to its father. The foals leave the group anytime from the time they reach 1 year old.
- Zebras are Herbivores, which means they eat plants, grasses and roots. This makes them a very successful member of the grassland community.
- Zebras sleep standing up like horses. They communicate by barking, snorting or whinnying. A zebra’s ears communicate if it is feeling calm or tense. If its ears are standing straight up, it is feeling calm. When the zebra’s ears are pushed forward, it is feeling tense or frightened.
- Predators that threaten the zebra are lions and hyenas. Other large cats also hunt the zebra. When the zebra herd is threatened, they will form a circle with all their members facing out. They will kick and bite to defend themselves. The Grevy zebra is considered an endangered species.
- Zebras are mostly hunted for their skin, but they also struggle because much of the land where they graze has been taken over by farming.
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