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Zebra

(Equus burchellii boehmi)

Conservation:

Grants zebra are a subspecies of Plains zebra. Because they are a sturdy animal, able to eat the coarse grasses in the African plains, and are able to survive many of the diseases that cattle carry, these animals are not yet Endangered or threatened in the wild. However, the Grevy and Mountain Zebras are very endangered due to loss of habitat and over hunting.

Amazing Facts:

Zebra have learned to live together and rely on each other for warnings to escape predators such as lions. When attacked, their main defenses are a painful bite and a powerful kick. They can run 40 mph for short distances. Another interesting fact is that newborn zebra babies are able to stand 15 minutes after being born and can run with the herd after about an hour.

Behavior:

Zebras have a uniquely adapted browsing technique that benefits other animals as well. Rather than pulling the grass out like most other grazers, zebras actually cut the grass with their teeth. Not only is this an easier way for them to eat, but it also leaves the more tender parts of the grass for other animals. Zebras can often be found in association with other types of animals such as giraffes, ostriches, antelopes, and wildebeests. Zebras also stand in large huddles. While there is no proven reason why they do this, some scientists theorize that all of the stripes confuse the predators, so they are not sure what to run after and have difficulty picking out individuals.

General Description:

Zebras are black with white stripes; if all their hair were shaved, the underlying skin would be black. Most have a short, upright mane, but there have been some populations found that have no mane at all. They have seven to ten neck stripes and three to four vertical body stripes. The stripes of a zebra are like the finger prints of humans, no two zebras have the same pattern.

Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Subgenus: Hippotigris
Species: quagga
Subspecies: boehmi

Gestation: 361-390 days
Range: From northern Zimbabwe to the Sudan in East Africa.
Longevity: 28 years
Weight: 500-600 pounds