If you thought zebras were just horses with stripes, think again! Here are 18 facts about zebras that you probably didn’t know!
There are three different species of zebras and all belong to the Equus family; which also includes donkeys and horses. The three different species all come from Africa and they are: the Burchell’s zebra, also known as the plains zebra, the Grevy’s zebra that is named after the French president Jules Grevy and finally, we have the Equus zebra.
Why do zebras have stripes? There are many theories around! Some say it helps them to camouflage in the wild, so that their predators won’t find them. New research however, suggest that these stripes came about to deter blood-sucking insects.
Each species of zebra have different types of stripes, varying in their width.
Is the zebra’s coat black with white stripes or is their coat white with black stripes? The debate continues!
Each zebra is unique; they all have different stripe patterns. It is like comparing it to humans and their fingerprints.
The Tijuana zebra is not really a zebra. It is in fact a donkey that has been painted to look like a zebra. They are used in Mexico as tourist attractions!
Zebras weigh between 180 to 380 pounds, depending on the species.
Zebras live in small groups with their families. The groups then group together to form a large herd. Even when they are in a herd, zebras tend to stay close to their family group.
There is always safety in numbers, so herds of zebras stick together to look out for predators and to help defend the weaker animals. These predators include lions and hyenas.
This one is hard to believe, but herds of zebras are often confused with herds of antelope.
In the wild zebras live up to 20 to 30 years but in captivity they can live up to 40 years.
The zebra crossing, called the Zebroid, has existed since the 19th century.
Zebras are unfortunately not as fast as horses; they run up to 55km per hour. They do however have excellent endurance and employ a zig zag run that helps them to escape from predators.
This is quite impressive - in the past it has been known that zebras have won fights with lions.
Humans have tried to domesticate zebras in the past to have as pets and were unsuccessful.
During the annual migration, it is the eldest zebra in the family group’s responsibility to make sure the zebras in their family don’t stray too far.
The Equus and Grevy’s zebra are endangered. This is mainly due to humans destroying their habitat and hunting.
When a baby zebra is born, they can stand and walk after just 20 minutes!
Source & Photo: MNN