Zebra represents a class of mammals from the detachment of nonpartboss and family families. The very name of the type of “zebra” has African history and is borrowed from the Aborigines. This remarkable animal is a close relative of horses, donkeys and rhinos.
In the world, several subspecies of zebras meet. They differ in their habitat and external features. Consider each of them in more detail:
Savanna Zebra or Burchellov
This representative is considered the most common type. The name Burchellov was received in honor of Botanik from England named William Burchell. Lives mainly on the southeastern continent of Africa.
The appearance of the savannah zebra is represented by a characteristic pattern on the skin. It can change depending on the animal habitat. For this reason, about 6 subspecies of savannah zebras are distinguished.
The northern representatives are characterized by a brighter pattern on the body, and the southern pattern has blurry and there are beige stripes on a white background. In its size, Zebra Burchellov reaches about 2.4 meters in length with a tail up to 57 centimeters. The zebra height does not exceed 1.5 meters with a weight in the range from 290 to 340 kilograms. The difference between the savannah zebra and deserted is smaller and rare bands on wool.
Desert zebra or grevi
The desert zebra received the name Grevi in honor of Jules Grevi, who was president of France. This zebra went to him as a gift from Abyssinia. You can meet it on the subequatorial belt of Africa in regions such as: Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, measure.
In its size, Grevi reaches about 3 meters in length with a tail of another 50 centimeters. Weight is located around 400 kilograms. White or white-yellow predominates in the color of the coat. A characteristic feature is a wide strip of black, passing in the middle of the back. The stripes of the desert zebra are slightly thinner than that of other species, and are painted in black or dark brown color. There are no bands in the abdomen.
A distinctive feature of mountain zebras is the predominance of black suit and narrow white stripes. There is also a continuation of the strips on the legs that reach the hooves. In its dimensions, a mountain zebra can reach 370 kilograms of weight with a body length of about 2.2 meters.
There are two subspecies of mountain zebras: there are two subspecies:
Kapskaya mountain zebra
She lives in the National Parks of South Africa, as well as in some of the vicinity of Cape of Good Hope. At the moment, this subspecies is under the strict protection of the South African states due to their mass extermination in the 20th century. The appearance of this representative is very small in size. Zebra height reaches a maximum of 128 centimeters with a weight of up to 260 kilograms.
Mountain Zebra Hartman
This subspecies lives in the mountainous regions of Namibia. It is extremely small and is under the threat of disappearance. To date, only 15 thousand of these zebras are known. They are distinguished by narrow stripes and large sizes in comparison with the capture subspecies. The height of their body reaches 1.5 meters with a weight in the range from 250 to 350 kilograms.
This is an extinct representative, which was considered one of the subspecies of the savannah zebra. Their habitat was South Africa. The external difference was a specific coloring: the front of the body had a striped color, and the back it looked like an ordinary bay horse. In its dimensions, Kvagga reached 180 centimeters in length. They were tamed by man and operated to protect herds. The last zebra died in 1883 at the Amsterdam zoo.
Zebra hybrids with other animals
The first crossing of a zebra with a home horse and a donkey occurred in 1815. Usually the male is a zebra. Resulting as a result of crossing hybrids are called zebroids. They are similar to both horses and zebra. As a rule, they are very aggressive, but are good to train.
The territory of the habitat
Zebra can be found exclusively on the African continent. The habitat depends on the sight. Plain zebras prefer the savannahs of East Africa, including the south of the mainland. Desert representatives settled Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Mountain species reached the mountainous area of Namibia and South Africa, reaching a height of 2000 meters.
A comfortable habitat for zebras are various plains, mountains, forests and deserts. However, in recent years, the number of these amazing animals has sharply decreased and continues to decrease.
As a rule, the diet of zebras is determined by their habitat. They can include various herbs, shrubs, shoots and their plants. Due to such a low-calorie diet, they are forced to eat most of the time. Thanks to the simple structure of the stomach, they easily process fiber, receiving a sufficient amount of protein and vitamins.
Water also plays considerable importance for the normal functioning of the zebra body. They tolerate thirst very poorly and are forced to look for sources for drinking at least once a day. The females who feed the cubs are stronger. Most often, they go to the zebras watering in the territory with rivers and lakes. However, in conditions of harsh climate, they often dry out. Therefore, many zebras independently dig deep pits in which rainwater or water accumulates to the surface from underground sources.
During the drought, zebras prefer to move to other places in which they can get water and pasture with vegetation. Sometimes zebras make very long distances in search of food and water.
All zebras are characterized by family flocks led by an adult stallion. Most of this herd consists of a large number of females and small cubs. There is also the oldest mare in every pack. Males do not advocate in flocks, therefore, at the ages of 1 to 3 years, they are forced to leave the herd and becomes outcasts.
Distinguish each other’s animals in patterns on the body, smell and voice. The main feature of the zebr is a dream in a standing state. In order to secure each other, all individuals are gathering in a heap and sleeping. Thus, they can protect themselves from the attack of other predators.
To communicate with each other, zebras use barking and neighing. Their mood can be determined by the position of the ears. In a calm state, the ears stand straight, and during the period of aggression go back. The fright of the animal can be identified by finding the ears in front. Aggression can be shown by snorting or loud sounds barking.
What are the zebras capable of
With the beginning of summer, a period of estrus begins in females. At this time, she spreads her hind limbs to the sides and takes the tail. Thus, she shows her readiness to reproduce. The period of pregnancy lasts about a year. Sometimes childbirth coincides with the conception period, so many females are pregnant after childbirth. As a result, the offspring of zebra appears at least once a year.
The baby weighs no more than 30 kilograms with an increase of about 81 centimeters. As a rule, the female is born no more than one cub. During birth, the stallion carefully protects the female from predators. However, after an hour, the foal is able to get to your feet. After a couple of weeks, the strongold zebras learn to eat vegetation on their own. Mother feeds them milk for a whole year. It is noteworthy that pink females milk. It plays a special role, since in this way the cub can receive all the necessary nutrients and vitamins that help him grow and develop. While the kids are very small, the female protects them greatly and hides them in a herd from a zebr.
Up to three years, the cubs are in the same group, as otherwise they will become easy prey of predatory animals. The sexual age in males occurs at three years, and in females in two years.
Interesting facts about zebra
Most scientists are inclined to the opinion that the dominant color in the color of the zebra is still black. However, each zebra has its own unique drawing that is not repeated. Strips of zebra on the neck and head are located vertically, and the body of the animal is covered with stripes at an angle. It is noteworthy that the cubs identify their mother from this particular pattern.
Also, zebra stripes play the role of a kind of protection. Thanks to them, the animal merges with the space of the savannah (animals of the savannah), disorienting the enemies. It is believed that the stripes also perform the function of thermoregulation. The fact is that the black stripes heat up stronger, and the white ones are weaker. This difference helps the zebra survive in a hot climate.
Enemies in the wild
The most dangerous predator for zebra is the African lion. He is extremely not indifferent to their meat, so he does not miss the opportunity to enjoy them. He can guard the zebra near the watering, and also attacks on the young representatives who have fought from the herd. Sometimes such predators as cheetah, leopard, hyena attack the zebr. When animals feel danger, they begin to develop speed up to 70 kilometers per hour. Thanks to this ability to quickly run, they can hide from their enemies. Zebra’s ability to run zigzags is also notable, so it knocks predators from its path.
If it fails to escape, the zebra is protected with its strong hooves. She can hit her enemy so much that this blow can even become fatal. In addition to hooves, teeth are also used.
Life in captivity
You can meet a zebra in many zoos. She is taken care of almost the same as ordinary horses. Her stall is protected from bad weather, and they give ordinary food for horses as food. It is important that Zebram can not give any human food. In particular, bread, flakes, sugar and chips. From this food she provokes a number of diseases that lead to a reduction in their life. The zebras also periodically trim the hooves, since in the zoos they cannot independently cost them because of which they can suffer from severe pain.
Population and status of the species
Zebras were a very common look in almost all territories of Africa. However, to date, their number has been seriously reduced. This is due to widespread hunting, which has not been stopped from the state for a long time. The population of mountain zebras decreased by almost eight times. At the moment, they are under strict state control.