The Mountain Zebra
* The three species of zebra are no more closely related to each other than they are to horses and asses. - The other members of the family Equidae.
* The zebra will forage for grass for 60 to 80 per cent of a 24-hour period.
* The zebra mixes easily with other grass-eaters, such as wildebeests, as they feed on grass at different stages of growth.
* When grooming itself, the zebra is particularly
fond of rolling in mud. When the mud dries and is shaken off, loose hair and
dry skin is pulled away.
The Grevy's Zebra
* The dung heaps that mark the territory of a Grevy's stallion may be over 40cm high, and cover several metres of ground.
* Only the male zebra has pointed canine teeth, which are usually only a feature of flesh-eating animals. It uses these teeth in rivalry fights with other stallions.
* Grevy's is thought to have been the first zebra known to man. It is also probably the hippotigris, or 'horse tiger', that was used in the circuses of Ancient Rome.
* Reaching speeds of up to 55km/h, Grevy's zebra often trots or gallops over the grasslands, while the plains zebra usually canters.
Zebras are part of the same family as horses. So
a young one is called a foal, the name for baby horses.
They look different than a horse though, they are
covered in beautiful black and white stripes.
Plains Zebra can be identified by their broad stripes. They inhabit grasslands and savannas spanning all over eastern and southern Africa. Their mouths are specially adapted to eat all types of grasses, from tall and rough to short and tender. They compensate for poor digestion by eating throughout most of the day. They also cannot go for long times without water.
The social structure of Plains Zebra can be compared to that of horses. Though they are not territorial, adult males do acquire harems consisting of several unrelated females. Plains Zebra harems are relatively stable. Mares do not often leave the harem and the stallion is rarely replaced. Outside males will usually only disturb a harem to steal one of the adolescent females. Young males also leave the harem at adolescence to join bachelor herds where they play and fight with other colts until they are ready to acquire harems of their own, around age 5.
Grevy’s Zebra, on the other hand, are nearly twice as large as Plains Zebra. They are not nearly as widespread, inhabiting primarily regions of Northern Kenya. They can be identified by their smaller, narrower stripes that come together in a bulls-eye pattern at the rear. Grevy’s Zebra are more adapted to drier climates than Plains Zebra. They are able to browse when grass is scarce and will dig water holes when needed.
Grevy’s Zebra are territorial. Social groups consist of groups of mares with young offspring, bachelor herds, and solitary adult males defending distinct territories. Breeding takes place within these territories. The stallions advertise their territories by braying and mark boundaries with urine and feces.
When predators are present Grevy’s Zebra run while Plains Zebra exhibit group defense. The females bunch together protecting mothers and babies in the center of the group while the stallion attempts to fight off the predator. Despite their different behavioral patterns all zebra participate in social grooming and special greeting rituals. They are complex social animals.