|Size||Up to 4.5 ft (1.4 m) (shoulder height)|
|Speed||Up to 25 mph (40 km/h)|
|Weight||Up to 881 lb (400 kg)|
|Predators||Lions, hyenas, leopards|
|Scientific name||Equus grevyi, zebra and quagga|
Zebras belong to the family of horses. There are three different types: Grevy’s zebra, the mountain zebra and the common zebra. Mountain zebras are closely related to the African wild ass, common zebras and Grevy’s zebra to the Asian wild ass.
Do Zebra Species Have Different Stripes?
|Mountain zebra||Broad stripes|
|Grevy’s zebra||Narrow stripes|
|Plains zebra||Stripes of varying width|
Black Stripes on a White Coat or White Stripes on a Black Coat?
This question was long unanswered. Most zebras have black stripes ending at the belly and near the inner side of their legs. All other parts of the coat are white. Yet, some zebras are mainly black with white stripes. By the way, the skin under their coat is black.
Striping Patterns are Unique
Do zebras all look the same? No! Even if you might not perceive it at first sight: Each zebra has an individual striping pattern. The stripes and the smell help them to recognize their friends.
It might seem that the zebra was not very clever when choosing its colors. The combination of black and white can be easily perceived even at long distances. Nevertheless, the stripes serve the zebra as a camouflage. >When herds of zebras are standing together and the air is hazy from the heat, the silhouettes of the individual animals are no longer clearly recognizable. This confuses the (colorblind) lion: “Where is the head, where is the leg, how many animals are there? Damn!”
Tse, tse! You Can Count Me Out!
Another theory on the flashy stripes says that they might protect the animal from tsetse flies. The infamous transmitters of sleeping sickness have enormous problems to perceive a zebra with their compound eyes. Lucky zebra!
Help Against the Heat
Scientists have now discovered that the strips also help to make the heat more bearable.
- Watch now on animalfunfacts.net:
- Video: Symbiotic Animal Relationships - like the one between zebra and oxpecker
- Video: Animal Camouflage - do the zebra's stripes serve as camouflage?