Inquisitive to know the facts about zebras? And why? Because you have just been stumped with the question, “With zebras, is it black over white or the other way around?” a perennial favorite with riddle lovers. Zebras may not possess the feline charm of a leopard or the cuddliness of a koala, the majesty of the horse or the adorable pranks of the monkey. But they are definitely one of the most striking-looking species in the animal kingdom. Yet so little is known about them!
To elaborate on the fundamental facts about zebras. They are herd animals, most famous for their stunning black and white stripes. These are white on black stripes, typically vertically aligned on the head, neck, forequarters and the torso and horizontally on the rear and the legs. Zebras are usually one to two meters in height, two to three meters in width and weigh around 250-500 kilograms. These are the facts that you can also more or less discern about the animal from its pictures.
As is clear from the resemblance in the pictures, the zebra belongs to the horse family, more specifically Equidae. It is a native of central and the southern parts of Africa. It has a maximum travel speed of 55-kilometers per hour, which is slower than the horse. But the zebra more than makes up for it with its stamina. Ever seen a zebra panting after a trot! They are great walkers too, and can cover up to 40-kilometers daily.
The average life span of a zebra is around 28 years.
The zebra populace is a diversified lot. There are presently four species and numerous sub-species. The most common species is the Plains Zebra and the largest species is the Grevy’s Zebra. Another zebra species is the Mountain Zebra.
Facts about zebras can border quite on the dramatic too. For instance, did you know that every zebra has a unique pattern of stripes? And these stripes are actually present for a good reason too. They make it difficult for the predatory animal to distinguish one particular zebra from amidst a herd in motion. These stripes also make it difficult for the predators to ascertain the actual distance. Quite a designer defense mechanism indeed!
Other reasons have been put forward as to this difference in stripes patterns. According to many zoologists these differences exist to facilitate social interaction between the zebras themselves. People have their own individual looks, long hair, stocky build, gangly arms and all. And zebras have stripes to know each other.
Yet another group of zoologists feel that these bold stripes are a ploy to confuse and disorient the vision of the blood-sucking tsetse fly.
The shiny coats on them serve another purpose too. The coat dispels about 70% of the incoming heat and scientists feel that this helps the animal keep away the solar radiation. So no chance of sunstroke for the zebra wandering in the vast treeless plains of Africa, one or two finches on its back. Bet you didn’t know all these facts about zebras? Did you?
The zebras are resourceful animals, naturally endowed although. They have elongated jaws so that when they are grazing they can still keep an eye at the distance. Their eyes are perched on the side of their head so that they have a broader field of vision. There are many animals who prey on zebras, hence these defense mechanisms.
Facts about zebras are much more than their vital statistics, habitat and dietary habits; the facts will help you appreciate these wonderful creations of Nature.