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Zebra

Posted in Mammals

Everybody knows what a Zebra looks like. That’s because these hooved mammals are known for their crazy black and white stripes. Zebras are closely related to horses and about the same size. Fully grown, zebras can reach 6 – 8 1/2 feet long with an 18 inch long tail, and weigh up to 900 pounds or more.  The stripes on a zebra are as individual as human fingerprints and can help other zebras identify each other. There are three different species of zebras.

 

 

 

 

Where-do-they-live

Zebras live mainly on the savannas in the southeastern region of Africa. They also can be found in other habitats like open plains, semi-desert areas, open woodlands, scrub, and grasslands.  Some zebras even live in mountainous regions.

 

What-do-they-eat

Zebras mostly eat a variety of grasses. They are also known to eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark. They prefer short, green grass but will also eat coarse tall foliage.

 

What-are-their-predators

The most significant threat to a zebra is the lion and the spotted hyena.

 

 

What-are-their-defenses

One of the zebras best defenses is its social behavior.  Zebras live in large herds and always look out for each other.  While some animals have their heads down grazing, others will be standing up and looking around for predators.

If they spot a predator, they bark or whinny loudly to warn the others in the group.  Zebras can run very fast, around 35 to 40 mph.  This helps them escape an approaching lion or hyena. The mothers with young zebras will start running first followed by the rest of the herd, who all stay close together.  If a zebra is hurt by a predator, the herd will surround and protect the wounded zebra. 

 

A strong kick from the powerful, long legs of the zebra is also an effective defense mechanism and can seriously injure any attacking predator.

 

 

Did-you-know

 

baby zebras are born with brown and white stripes that will turn to black and white as it matures?

 

My-favorite-thing

about zebras is their ability to blend together in a herd so their predators get confused.

 

What’s your favorite thing about zebras?

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