The Zebra (Hippotigris)

The zebra is a popular and well-known equine as well as one of the most bizarre-looking. Its odd stripes make it stick out like a sore thumb but might also help it to hide from predators. They comprise of 3 species still alive today, including the Grévy's zebra, the mountain zebra, and the plains zebra. So let's look into these horse-like mammals and see what we can learn about them.

Image via a friend from Discord

Physical Description and Behavior


Zebras are impossible to miss due to their striking black and white striped body. Each zebra has a slightly different striped pattern, making them all unique. They are about 3 to 5 feet tall and can weigh from 500 pounds all the way up to 1000 pounds.


Fun fact: It is actually a mystery to scientists why zebras have stripes. There are many theories about this, including camouflage from predators, a way to confuse insects, a way for zebras to identify each other, and even a form of natural sunscreen. However, it can possibly be a combination of these reasons and others.

Image of a herd of zebra, via a friend from Discord

Zebras are very social animals and prefer to be in herds. They travel, eat, and even groom each other in these herds. While herds generally consist of a head stallion, a few females, and their young, some herds may combine with others. It is not uncommon to see massive herds of zebra with hundreds, or even over a thousand strong, all keeping a lookout for predators.


Habitat and Location


All three species of Zebra live in Southern Africa. They prefer more mesic environments and can travel hundreds of miles to find a good water source. Granted, they rarely stray far from a water source once they have found one, and while they can store water for up to a week, will consume water daily if available.


Due to hunting, habitat loss, and a reducing population, all three species of zebra are either considered endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened.


To learn more about zebras, check out this video below:


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