Zebras are several species of African equids (horse family ).
Zebras are differentiated by their distinctive black and white striped coats .
Are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds .
Some of the species of zebras include :
Three species of zebras are the plain zebras ,the mountain zebra and the Grevys zebra .Plain and mountain zebra resembles a horse while Grevy’s is donkey like .
Zebras habits grasslands,savanna woodlands and coastal hills .
Zebra evolved among the Old world horses within the last 4 million years ago .
Zebras have between 32 and 46 chromosomes depending on the species .
The plains zebra (Equus quagga)is the most common and found in Southern and Eastern Africa .
The mountain zebra (Equus zebra)of Southwestern Africa tends to have a sleek coat with a white belly and narrower stripes than the plains zebra .
Grevys zebra (Equus grevyi)is the largest type with a long ,narrow head making it appear rather mule-like .
Zebras were previously believed to be white animals with black stripes as a result of white underbellies .
However embryological evidence shows that the animal’s background color is black and white stripes and bellies are additions .
A wide variety of hypothesis have been proposed to account for the evolution of striking stripes of zebras which include :
Camouflage -zebras hide in the grass by disrupting it’s outline which during the process the striking stripes merges to an apparent grey .
The stripes may help to confuse predators by motion dazzle where a large group of zebras standing or moving close together appear as one large mass of flickering stripes .
Zebras are prone to diseases which attacks horses.
Parasites that attacks horses include :
-Botfly larvae in the zebras stomach .
-Ticks such as Babesia.
-Salmonella infection of the intestine .
Zebras live as families consisting of one stallion with up to six mares and foals .Zebras communicates to each other by the use of high-pitched barks and whinings.
Zebra feeds entirely on grasses ,shrubs ,herbs ,twigs ,leaves and bark .
Females take at most three years to reach maturity age while males reach maturity allowed the age of five to six years .
Attempts to domesticate the zebra has been made with no successful results as Zebras are known to be all and too stubborn .Zebras panick under pressure and stress .As a result of this a cross breed of a zebra and donkey called zebroid has been introduced to give the zebra amazing traits to match those of it’s fellow equids .
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