Zebras are famous for their black and white stripes that run along their bodies. People can easily identify zebras because of this characteristic. But other than their black and white bodies, there is little that we know of these creatures. So read on to find out more about them. Here are some interesting facts about zebras.
You might have noticed that zebras look very much like horses and donkeys. Well, the explanation for that is that zebras, donkeys, and horses all belong to the genus Equus. And there are three species of zebras under this genus. These species are Burchell’s zebra (Equus burchellii), Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi), and Mountain zebra (Equus zebra). The Burchell’s zebra is also known as Plains zebra and it is the most common of all the three species.
And zebras are not the only ones in the genus that have stripes. Their close relative, the donkeys, have various species that have some stripes too. The African wild ass has stripes on the lower part of its legs. But nevertheless, zebras have the most distinct stripes among them all.
To prove just how distinct zebra stripes are, every pattern is unique. Just like our fingerprints, the patterns of the black and white stripes on zebras are unique. And this distinctness in their patterns is quite helpful for many scientists and researchers to identify those that they have already encountered in their study.
There are many more things we should know about these amazing creatures. And below are some fast facts on zebras:
• Grevy’s zebras are believed to be the oldest species of zebras. They are also the largest of the bunch.
• The existence of Grevy’s zebras is in danger because of poaching and loss of their habitat.
• The male zebra is called a stallion and the female is called mare.
• Zebras have good eyesight and hearing. They also have a keen sense of smell.
• Zebras are believed to see things in color.
• Zebras may not have sharp fangs, thick hides, or big horns but they have speed. Zebras can run as fast as 40 miles per hour.
• Zebras don’t lie down to sleep. They sleep standing up. And they don’t sleep unless there are other animals to warn them of predators or a fellow zebra to keep watch.
• The zebras’ average lifespan is 20 to 30 years in the wild. They can live longer, up to 40 years, if in captivity.
• The Mountain zebras are the smallest species of zebras.
• Baby zebras (foals) are born brown and white.
• Romans called Grevy’s zebras, hippotigris. Romans trained them to pull carts in circuses.
Zebras are not just black and white animals that are taught to us in kindergarten to represent the letter z. There is so much more to these creatures than “Z is for zebra”. You could also say “P is for Punda Milia”, the Swahili name for zebras.