The zebra is a remarkable animal that belongs to the Equidae family and is known for its distinctive black and white striped coat. There are three species of zebras - the plains zebra, the mountain zebra, and the fine-striped zebra.
Zebras are found in eastern, central, and southern Africa and are known to adapt to various habitats such as open grasslands and deserts.
The stripes on the zebra's body serve multiple purposes - they serve as a unique identifier among zebras and also as a protective coloration that helps the animal blend in with its surroundings.
The stripes also act as a form of defense by confusing predators, making it difficult for them to distinguish the zebra from its surroundings.
Zebras are herbivores and feed on a variety of vegetation, including grass, shrubs, twigs, leaves, and bark. Their adaptable digestive system allows them to survive in low-nutrient conditions, making them superior to other herbivores in this aspect. Despite their hardiness, zebras have never been domesticated and are unable to crossbreed with horses.
Here is a closer look at each of the three species of zebras:
The mountain zebra is the smallest of the three species, with an adult length of 2.1 to 2.4 meters and a weight of about 500 pounds. It has a short mane and the first stripes on its body. There are two subspecies of the mountain zebra - the Cape Mountain Zebra and the Hartman Mountain Zebra. Their range is primarily in the southwestern part of Africa.
2. Plains Zebra
The plains zebra is similar in size to the mountain zebra but has a larger body weight of around 600 pounds. It is the most abundant and widespread of the zebra family and can be found in the African grasslands.
3. Fine-striped Zebra
The fine-striped zebra is the largest of the three species, with an adult body length of up to two meters seven and a weight of 900 pounds. However, it is also the most endangered, with its range limited to Kenya and Ethiopia.
The zebra is a remarkable animal that stands out with its distinctive black and white stripes. Despite its hardiness and adaptability, it remains one of the least domesticated animals in the world. With the exception of the fine-striped zebra, the other two species continue to thrive in the African grasslands and deserts.