These animals deserve to know them better and learn more about their features, lifestyle, and character. Take, for example, the fact that their stripes, like human fingerprints, are unique - could you imagine this?
What do we know about zebras other than they are striped?
The facts we at Bemorepanda have collected for you will tell you many exciting things about zebras, these great representatives of the African continent.
So, could you get acquainted: with zebras?
1. If you've ever wondered if there are crossbreeds between a horse and a zebra, the answer is yes. These are the so-called Zorses, descended from a zebra stallion and a mare. This hybrid was mentioned several times in George Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels. Like most hybrids, Zorses are sterile.
2. Zebras have a strong sense of community and are not afraid to stand up for their fellow herds. When one of them is injured due to a predator attack, other zebras immediately come to the rescue, circling the injured fellow and helping to drive away the attacker.
3. All zebras come from Africa, but depending on their species, they have their specific habitat. Plains zebras can be found in East and South Africa; Grevy's zebras live in Ethiopia and Kenya; mountain zebras usually live in South Africa, Namibia, and Angola.
4. Zebras can communicate both verbally and non-verbally. The most striking example of non-verbal communication is the expression of the muzzle, in particular, the ears. They prick their ears and stretch their muzzles forward when greeting each other. Feeling threatened, they press their ears to their heads.
5. Along with horses and donkeys, zebras are the only living animals with only one toe.
6. Fossils from China and Uzbekistan and a two-million-year-old fossil found in South Africa suggest that the ancestors of Grevy's zebras once roamed Africa and Eurasia.
7. There are albino zebras in Mount Kenya's forests, and their dark stripes are light.
8. Mountain zebras live on slopes and plateaus at an altitude of up to 2000 meters above sea level.
9. Zebras have a habit of rubbing against various objects and even rolling in mud. Rolling coats their fur with sand and earth, which helps zebras keep themselves clean by rubbing off dead skin and removing mites, biting insects, and pests. Zebras also help keep each other clean.
10. In 1882, the government of Ethiopia, then known as Abyssinia, sent a zebra as a gift to French President Jules Grevy. In the same year, the French naturalist Émile Ustale named this species of zebra "Grevy's zebra" in honor of the president.
11. Zebras have evolved the ability to sleep standing up, and they do it most of the time. If predators attack, they can immediately run away and not waste precious seconds getting up.
12. Zebras are herbivores. In particular, they feed on grass, leaves, and stems of shrubs. Chewing wears down their teeth, so these teeth continue to grow throughout their lives. When the dry season arrives, zebras go elsewhere in search of food; this is why most species are considered nomadic.
13. Although zebras are not very fast (they can run at about 64 km per hour), they are incredibly dynamic and rely on their agility and endurance to outwit faster predators. They can zigzag to confuse attackers and evade most predators.
14. Have you ever wondered why zebras have stripes? There are many reasons for this, but the most interesting is the phenomenon of disruptive (torn) coloration. To a lion, a herd of zebras does not look like a bunch of individual animals gathered together but rather like a vast camouflaged striped mass, which makes it difficult for a predator to choose a specific zebra to attack.
15. Zebras are not picky eaters. Instead of just chewing short grass, they eat a wide variety of herbs, leaves, and young trees. As a result, they can roam much further than many other species, often venturing into wooded areas. They are known as pioneer animals, preparing the plains for other herbivore species that require shorter, more nutritious grasses.
16. Grevy's zebras have a low calf survival rate. Habitat loss, competition for resources, and hunting by humans have reduced the species' population by 54% in 30 years. Grevy's zebras are listed in the Red Book of Threatened Species, the most comprehensive archive of data on the global conservation status of biological species.
17. Zebra stripes can make them unattractive to some smaller predators, such as blood-sucking horseflies, which can spread disease.
18. The dominant stallion in the herd guards the group and is the first to sense danger, uttering a high-pitched snort to warn his comrades. He then quickly takes a defensive position at the group's rear while the mare (usually the mother of the youngest foal) leads the rest of the herd away.
19. Zebras are among the mammals with the most extended gestation period. Females can carry cubs for 12 to 14 months.
20. Zebras are considered mature at 3 to 6 years, and their average lifespan is 25 years.
21. Despite belonging to the same family as horses and donkeys, the independent nature of zebras makes them impossible to tame. They panic easily and have a much more aggressive nature than horses. They are known for attacking people.
22. Just as no two people have the same fingerprints, no two zebras have the same stripes.
23. Zebras use bites and kicks to protect themselves.
24. Zebras have completely black skin under black and white fur.
25. Night vision of a zebra is about the same as that of an owl.
26. Zebras were the subject of rock art in South Africa, dating from 28,000 to 20,000 years ago.
27. Unfortunately, it is well known that humanity is responsible for the disturbance of the natural habitat of many species. Agriculture, grazing, hunting, and habitat loss are the leading life-threatening causes for plains zebras.
28. Plains zebras regularly travel from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to Kenya in search of food and water. Their annual migration leaves them vulnerable to various dangers, including attacks from lions, hyenas, wild dogs, and crocodiles.
29. Grevy's zebras are fast learners: newborns can be seen running just an hour after birth.
30. Adult mountain zebras can be 116 to 150 cm tall and weigh 240 to 372 kg.
31. Plains zebras usually have a height of 1.1 to 1.5 m and weigh up to 350 kg.
32. All zebras are close to their mothers, but males also form strong bonds with their fathers.
33. Grevy's zebras often live in harmony with other herbivores - wildebeests, ostriches, and antelope - nibbling off-dry, hardened grass tips that other herbivores cannot digest.
34. Grevy's zebras spend 60% of their day eating. In the dry season, when food is scarce, the percentage increases to 80%.
35. Newborn foals only take six minutes to stand on their own.
36. Mountain zebras are considered crepuscular animals, primarily active in the early morning and late afternoon until sunset.
37. Today, three zebra species roam the Earth: Grevy's, plains, and mountain zebra.
38. Zebras are born with brown and white hair, but brown turns black with age.
39. Plains zebras have been recorded to cover the 500 km between Namibia and Botswana, the longest land migration of a mammal in Africa.
40. Grevy's zebras can go without water for almost a week, but if possible, they will drink every day.
41. The plains zebra is the official national animal of Botswana.
42. When it's cold, mountain zebras take refuge in forests or caves and warm themselves in the morning sun, heading for the slopes facing east.
43. The main predators attacking Grevy's zebras are lions, cheetahs, hyenas, hunting dogs, and leopards.
44. Hunting is the main reason for the decline in the number of Grevy's zebras in Ethiopia.
45. Plains zebras are the most common type of zebra.
46. At birth, foals weigh between 25 and 40 kg.
47. Each species of zebra has its general stripe pattern.
48. Mountain zebras are skilled climbers and have sharper hooves than other zebras and horses.
49. Unlike plains zebras and horses, Grevy's zebras do not form long-term bonds. The composition of their group can change hourly.
50. In total, Grevy's zebras have about 80 stripes.