So you want to know some fun facts about zebras? Then you have come to the right place! In this article I share with you 25 amazing things about zebras that most people don’t know. Ready to learn more about zebras? Read on…
- Must Known Fun Facts about Zebras
- 1. Zebras Are Endangered Species
- 2. The Black Stripes of Zebra Acts as a Natural Sunscreen
- 3. Mountain Zebras Are Excellent Climbers
- 4. There Are Three Zebra Species
- 5. All 3 Zebra Species Have Distinct Stripe Patterns
- 6. Zebras Move in Groups Called Harems
- 7. They Are Not Fussy Eaters
- 8. All Zebra Species Are Native Africans
- 9. Some Zebras Can Weigh Up to 900 Pounds
- 10. They Can Sleep While Standing
- 11. Zebras Understand Facial Expressions
- 12. Zebras Are Cousins with Horse and Donkeys
- 13. Baby Foals Can Run After 40 Minutes
- 14. Zebra Stripes Keep Them Camouflaged
- 15. They Are Super Fast Runners
- 16. Zebras Can Rotate Their Ears at 180 Degrees
- 17. Zebra Stripes Are Organic Insect Repellent
- 18. They Grow Teeth Throughout Their Life
- 19. Zebras Have Powerful Kicks
- 20. Zebras Have Mutual Grooming Rituals
- 21. They Have a Wide Field of Vision
- 22. Zebras Take Dust Bath to Remove Dead Skin
- 23. Male Zebras Have a Special Dewlap Feature on Their Throats
- 24. The Diverse Vocalizations of Zebra Convey Distinct Messages
- 25. Zebras Have a Unique Water Seeking Behaviour
Ever wondered why zebras have these black-and-white stripes? Get ready to learn 25 amazing fun facts about zebras that will surely blow up your mind.
While you might already be aware of zebras’ serene and sociable nature, prepare to be astounded by their hidden talents, such as their surprising ability to swim, rotate their ears a full 180 degrees, and possess remarkable memory and intelligence.
So, without any more delay, let us embark on a fascinating exploration into the world of zebras.
1. Zebras Are Endangered Species
Did you know zebras are classified as an endangered species? Yes, among other zebra species, Grevy’s zebra has suffered the most elimination.
Since the 1970s, numbers have steadily declined, leaving only about 2000 Grevy zebras, from a significant original total of 15,000. Shocking. Isn’t it? That’s our number one pick for the list of fun facts about zebras.
In addition, the major factors that lead to such a decline in the zebra population include the loss of habitat, increased hunting, competition with livestock, and also poaching.
Efforts should be made to conserve the remaining endangered species and preserve their habitats in the wild.
Africa is known for its diverse animal population. Do you know what else Africa is famous for? It is the scorching heat and the reflecting UV rays of the bright sun.
Ready for our next revelation among the 25 fun facts about zebras? The black stripes on zebras are not there just to look cool. They have a major purpose, and that is to act as a natural protection against sun rays.
In addition, the arrangement of the stripes is also purposeful. The black stripes contain a pigment called melanin, which absorbs harmful UV rays and protects the skin from skin cancer and sunburn.
While other zebra species are also great at climbing, Mountain zebras are excellent climbers, given their mountainous habitat.
Apart from the obvious motivation to reach their homes in the mountains, these zebras have been blessed with strong muscular legs that help them travel rough and steep surfaces smoothly. That’s our number third pick for 25 fun facts about zebras.
Moreover, Mountain zebras also have flexible hooves that allow them to spread their weight over large areas. Other than that, they also possess the ability to thrive at high altitudes of mountains, and with their exceptional balance, they can easily navigate steep slopes with ease.
4. There Are Three Zebra Species
The three species of zebra species include Plain Zebra, which is classified as Equus quagga. These are the smallest zebra species in terms of weight. They weigh around 800 pounds.
The second species includes Grevy Zebras, classified as Equus Grevyi. They are the largest weighing zebras, weighing up to 1000 pounds. In addition, they highly resemble donkeys with their distinct stripe pattern.
Next is the Mountain Zebras, which are classified as Equus zebras. They possess special abilities to adapt to high-altitude regions.
All three species of zebra possess unique characteristics but have some similarities between them.
Did you know none of the two zebras have the same stripe pattern? Just like fingerprints in humans are all unique and different. That’s our number fifth pick among the list of fun facts about zebras.
In addition, the primary purpose of zebras having stripes is to regulate their body temperature. Since the heat in Africa is blazing, the black stripes absorb the light from the sun. In contrast, the white stripes reflect the light and cool down the body temperature.
Moreover, the pattern of stripes is highly dependent on location and species. The Grevy species are known to possess vertical stripes, whereas the Mountain zebras own black or dark brown stripes all across its body. Lastly, plain zebras are either black-striped or sometimes have light brown patterns.
Zebras are known for their social behavior and strong dynamics. They move in large groups called harem. The leader of the harem is one dominant stallion, followed by closely related females and foals.
One concept behind moving in harems is that unity is power, and there is protection in numbers. By moving in large groups, large predators like lions can easily get intimidated and lose interest. Isn’t this a great fact among 25 fun facts about zebras.
Another benefit of moving in groups is the shared responsibility of security. While some zebras are busy grazing or resting, others take on the role and look out for possible threats.
7. They Are Not Fussy Eaters
Luckily, zebras are incredibly chill at eating. Since they are herbivores, they are not picky with the type of grass they will eat.
They are versatile grazers and have a flexible diet. Zebras usually feed on leaves, grasses, herbs, and shrubs. Their flexible nature has adapted them to graze on different varieties of greenery, from rough to fibrous grasses.
Another interesting fact among 25 fun facts about zebras is the herbivorous behaviour of zebras is linked with their ability to digest cellulose. Their unique digestive system induces fermentation to break down tough cellulose found in plants.
The number eight fact in the list of fun facts about zebras is that all zebra species are exclusive to Africa. The distribution of these species highly depends on the region’s ecosystem and landscapes.
The plain zebras are widespread in many Eastern, Western, and Southern African countries. These species prefer woodlands, savannas, grasslands, and nearby mountainous areas
Whereas the Grevy zebras prefer the arid regions of Kenya and Ethiopia. They are limited and enjoy the grasslands and savannas of these areas.
Lastly, the Mountain zebras are found in Southern African regions like Namibia and Angola. They are fond of dry, stony, and rugged mountainous habitats.
Zebras have quite a big body structure, given their distant relations with both horses and donkeys. Apart from that, the weight of the zebra depends upon the species, gender, age, and diet.
Similarly, the three zebra species vary with each other in terms of weight. The Grevy zebras are known to weigh around 990 pounds and sometimes even more. That’s an interesting pick among other fun facts about zebras.
In addition, male species are always big and heavier than females since their role in protecting their territory and leading the gerd and mating.
10. They Can Sleep While Standing
Another exciting fact to add to the list of fun facts about zebras is that zebras can sleep in a standing position. This is a defense technique that most zebras apply during the day.
In the daytime, zebras lock their joints and knees in a way that their body remains upright to avoid falling down. This is a clever way to get a quick nap while staying alert to the nearby predators.
However, when they need to recharge, they take a deep sleep by lying down, and that too is when they are in a herd.
We thought only humans had the intelligence to gather facial expressions into words. Funnily, zebras are apparently smarter than us.
According to a study, zebras can differentiate between various facial expressions. These expressions express emotions like fear, expression, and happiness. That’s our eleventh pick for the list of fun facts about zebras.
Ironically, zebras have also shown responses to understanding human facial expressions. Besides, this ability is highly useful in the wild when the herd is under attack; each member of the herd can communicate and respond effectively.
Our twelfth pick among fun facts about zebras will definitely surprise you. Zebras are close relatives of donkeys and horses, having the same genus Equus. Yes, You heard that right.
The primary fact that makes them close is sharing the same evolutionary ancestor. Physical similarities, zebras, horses, and donkeys all possess long slender legs, big body structures, long heads, big eyes, and hooves.
The major difference that sets all three equus apart is their distinct coat patterns. Zebras possess unique black and white stripes, while horses and donkeys are found in solid theme black or brown coats.
The fact that newborn foals can run after 40 minutes is simply mind-blowing. Unlike other animals, zebras are precocial animals. This means they were born with advanced development.
Baby foals can turn their heads up just a few minutes after their birth. Moreover, they make attempts to stand up, which are shaky at first, rapidly improving as they get their balance.
The muscles of foals are in constant development, which allows them to grow strong and keep up with the herd.
When we say zebra stripes keep them hidden, it doesn’t actually mean they can camouflage. Rather their black-and-white pattern causes visual deception that confuses predators.
The combination of stripe patterns among the harem creates a blending effect that makes hiding easy in the wild.
Did you know most predators are colour-blind? This fact is highly beneficial for zebras since their disruptive coloration effect works well against these animals.
15. They Are Super Fast Runners
Did you know zebras can go from standing still to running at full speed in just a few strides? They have the ability to run at a remarkable speed of 40 miles per hour. That’s fast, even for a zebra!
Moreover, their quick star, in combination with their speed, is enough to outrun mighty predators with ease. Their running speed is primarily dependent on how long their stride is. Since they have powerful and muscular legs that allow them to take long strides and move at super speed easily.
Zebras are very intelligent animals. Under attack, they use different escaping tactics to confuse the predator. These tactics include running in a zigzag, suddenly changing directions, and spreading in different directions.
In order to survive the wild African savannas, zebras have been gifted with the super ability to rotate their ears at 180 degrees.
To be able to function with this feature, zebra’s ears are connected to their heads with muscles and cartilage, which provides them flexibility.
Another interesting fact, among other fun facts about zebras, is that they can move their ears independently of each other.
With this amazing feature, zebras can pinpoint the exact direction of warning signals of predators.
Luckily zebras don’t have to worry about insects as the black and white pattern of stripes is enough to act as an insect repellant.
The disruptive coloration of the stripes confuses the houseflies from landing on zebras. The random stripe pattern also produces a motion dazzle effect when they move in groups. Isn’t this a great fact among 25 fun facts about zebras?
When the zebras move rapidly in groups, this fast movement of the stripe pattern causes an overwhelming motion dazzle effect. This prevents the landing of houseflies on zebras.
Zebras are to grow teeth continuously throughout their life. This feature is to support their rich herbivorous diet.
In addition, their teeth are called hypsodont which are a series of long crowns and short roots. This arrangement is essential for the growth of new teeth once the previous ones get worn down
Since they constantly feed on various types of grasses with different textures, the hypsodont teeth fit well with their diet.
Functional teeth are essential to obtain maximum nutrition to maintain their energy levels and for a healthy reproductive system.
Don’t take zebras as weak and calm. They can show what they are made of if threatened. With their well-developed leg muscles, they throw a mean kick.
Along with their powerful lower body, they have amazing reflexes that catch their predators unexpectedly.
Female zebras are also exceptional at kicking when it comes to protecting their offspring. Sometimes kicking is enough for zebras to end their confrontation against predators. This not only saves their energy but prevents life-threatening damage.
Zebras are very much involved in personal hygiene and grooming, so much so that they participate in mutual grooming.
Besides removing dirt and germs, mutual cleaning also strengthens group bonding. Each member puts their trust and cooperation with each other.
Since zebras roam around grasslands and savannas, they often get dust, dirt, and even parasites under their coats. Grooming improves skin conditions and helps shed such parasites.
In addition, grooming also helps with alleviating stress within groups and provides a soothing effect.
Our 21st fact among the 25 fun facts about zebras is that zebras have panoramic vision. Did you know zebras have eyes placed on the side of their head? This feature gives them a broader and almost 360-degree view of the field.
The wide field vision allows them to have an excellent view of the nearby predators. In addition, they can rapidly detect movement and prepare an action plan.
Their eyes are also significant for zebras to make their next move. Since these species rely on facial expressions to perform any action in the group. To be able to see other herd members provides satisfaction and reduces stress.
Zebras take a dust bath by laying down on loose, fine sand or soil and rolling in it. Taking a cloud of dust has many benefits. Not only does it remove dead skin, excess oils, and ticks that are stuck under the coats.
As zebras roll on the dust, their particles act as exfoliators and lose the skin. The dust particles are also useful for absorbing oil rime on the skin. Isn’t this an exciting fact among 25 fun facts about zebras?
As the zebra rolls further in the sand, all the impurities shed on the skin and give a clean healthy-looking coat.
Dewlap is our 23rd fact among 25 fun facts about zebras. It is a piece of loose, wrinkled skin that extends from the zebra’s throat below the jaw.
Dewlap is a prominent feature in adult males but uncommon in all zebra species. Mountain zebras and Grevy’s zebras do not possess a dewlap, but some plain zebras have a dewlap.
In addition, dewlap is a signal of dominance used to convey different messages within the herd.
Zebras use different vocalizations to communicate with the group members. It is essential to stay close and coordinate their next move.
Additionally, weighing and neighing sounds are used to locate other herd members, show their happiness, or give orders to move. Barking expresses fear, danger, warning, and distress.
25. Zebras Have a Unique Water Seeking Behaviour
Our final fact among 25 fun facts about zebras is about the unique water-seeking behaviour of zebras. Zebras follow a nomadic lifestyle; they move to locations based on water availability.
Zebras can detect water sources from a distance with their sharp sense of smell. Blesses with a remarkable memory, zebras also remember the locations where they last found water.
During the dry season or in drought conditions, zebras tend to dig up water holes with the help of their powerful hooves.
Wrapping Up: Fun Facts About Zebras
Zebras are truly remarkable species possessing numerous distinctive characteristics. From their unique fingerprint-like stripes cause optical illusions to have strong slender legs, kicking mighty predators. Zebras are no less of an animal species.
To inspire more zebra lovers, we have shared a carefully curated list of 25 fun facts about zebras.
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