Zebra stripes are special like a person’s fingerprints. There are plains zebra, Grévy’s zebra and the mountain zebra.The plains zebra is the most common.
The numbers of all three are shrinking because of habitat loss, hunting, and competition with livestock for water and their favorite food, grasses. In fact, zebras graze on grass so much that their teeth have to keep growing so they don’t wear out!
Why do they even have stripes? No one knows for sure, but camouflage is a good guess. The mass of stripes in a marching herd of zebras might make the herd look like a moving mass with broad stripes. For predators, this makes it difficult to spot a single zebra to attack.Some scientists also believe that the uniqueness of the stripes can help zebras figure out which is which.
Zebras are social animals that can live together in large herds or smaller familygroups. They stay close together when grazing, they run together when they try to escape from predators, and they even groom one another.
Zebras form small groups called harems. Each harem consists of one male (called a stallion), a few females (called mares), and their young (called foals).Grévy’s zerbras don’t live in a harem. Herding increases safety because then many eyes and ears are alert to danger.
The zebras are very protective of their fellow herd. They don’t leave any of their herd behind.
Grévy stallions are more territorial than other zebra stallions. They patrol their individual territories to keep others out.
Zebras sleep standing up. This keeps them ready to be on the run in a moments notice. Newborn foals also stand for 20 minutes and run for an hour.When a zebra sees danger, it barks and brays to warn others.
Although running is their best defense, zebras can also bite.They can also break an attacker’s bones with powerful kicks.
Zebras spend most of their day eating grass.
Zebras have a dark skin with white stripes.
If attacked by a predator, zebras will form a half circle in front of the predator and attack as needed. Also, if a member of the herd is hurt or very young, the zebras will form a circle around them for protection.