Zebras are curious animals. Are they white with black stripes, or black with white stripes? What separates them from horses? In this fact file, we are going to take a close look at everything we know about these wild and wonderful beasts. Think yourself to be a zebra expert? Maybe it’s time to test your knowledge. Read on for the full lowdown!
- Zebras are pretty smart when it comes to evading predators. They will run in a zig-zag, rather than a straight line, to make it difficult for them to be caught.
- What’s a group of zebras called? It’s a ‘zeal’.
- Zebras live vastly across Africa. They tend to prefer living in the savannahs and in woodlands, as well as in tall grass. Contrary to some belief, you’ll never find zebras living in the desert or in the wetland.
- Believe it or not, the Romans used zebras to help assist in their circuses, and to help pull carriages. Thankfully, we live in more enlightened times!
- Zebras are likely to be smaller than you think. They only grow to be around 5 feet tall, on average.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Narok County, Kenya
- Zebras and horses are pretty distinct in terms of species. They are in the same family, but they can actually breed with one another to produce zorses and hebras! To make things even more complex, these hybrid offsprings are known as zebroids.
- Zebras are impressively fast. You’ll never be able to catch one on foot – they can speed away at up to 40 mph.
- Zebras will generally stick together in family groups, though young males up to three years old will split off to form bachelor groups, while competing to mate with females.
- Strangely, scientists know that zebras are unable to see the colour orange. Could this be a bit of a hindrance when it comes to escaping predators such as big cats?
- Zebras have stripy coats and skin for a reason. It’s an immense help against the heat of the Sun. Thanks to the different ways in which black and white skin absorb light, a zebra is able to cool itself fairly efficiently without having to actually do anything!
- Zebras, much like all intelligent mammals, have distinct moods and feelings. It’s thought that you are normally able to tell the mood of a zebra by looking closely at its ears. In fact, a zebra can rotate and swivel its ears in virtually all directions and at all angles.
- Zebras only have one toe on each of their feet.
- Zebras are known to sleep standing up, making them a bit of an oddity in the animal world.
- A zebra will generally weigh up to 450kg in the wild, though they only ever make up this bulk by eating grass – their sole diet – they are full herbivores.
- A zebra is likely to live for up to 25 years in the wild, though this may differ in captivity.
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about Zebras? Share them here in the comments section below!