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Title : Facts about Zebra Previous topic PreviousNext Next topic

Zebras are one of a handful of single-toed hoofed animal species, a category that also includes donkeys, horses and asses. The single hoof is probably an adaptation that helps them run fast on hard ground. Zebras are the most striking-looking of the animals in this family. Zebras have horselike bodies, but their manes are made of short, erect hair, their tails are tufted at the tip and their coats are striped.

Three species of zebra still occur in Africa, two of which are found in East Africa. The most numerous and widespread species in the east is Burchell's, also known as the common or plains zebra.The other is Grevy's zebramostly found in northern Kenya. And the third species, Equus zebra, is the mountain zebra, found in southern and southwestern Africa.

The height of an adult plains zebra is 44-58 inches (112 to 147centimeters) at the shoulder.

Their weight varies greatly, from 385-847 pounds (175 to 384 kilograms) depending on the species. Males are about 10 percent larger than females.

Zebras are avid grazers. Both Burchell's and Grevy's zebras are in constant search of green pastures. In the dry season, they can live on coarse, dry grass only if they are within a short distance (usually no farther than 20 miles away) of water holes.

Zebras stand up while sleeping.

Zebra crossings (pedestrian crossings) are named after the black and white stripes of zebras.

When a foal is born the mother keeps all other zebras (even the members of her family) away from it for 2 or 3 days, until it learns to recognize her by sight, voice and smell.

While all foals have a close association with their mothers, the male foals are also close to their fathers. They leave their group on their own accord between the ages of 1 and 4 years to join an all-male bachelor group until they are strong enough to head a family.

Zebras have excellent eyesight and hearing.

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