39 Fascinating Facts About Zebras

Did you know that zebras can survive up to five days without drinking water? It’s true!

Zebras are among the many beautiful creatures found in eastern and southern Africa. We couldn’t resist sharing some interesting zebra facts.

They are easily recognizable due to their iconic black and white stripes, but there is more to the common zebra than just their stripes. Here we will explore the three main species of zebra and what makes them unique.

Here are 39 fun facts you should know about zebras:

– Zebras are herbivores, which means they eat plants, grasses, and roots.

– There are three different species of zebra found in East and South Africa: the plains zebra, Grevy’s zebra (also known as the Imperial Zebra), and the mountain zebra.

– Zebras belong to the Equidae family, which includes horses and donkeys.

– Each zebra species has its own general stripe pattern, and each zebra has a unique stripe pattern, making their stripes as unique as snowflakes or human fingerprints.

– The plains zebra has broader stripes than the other two species. The mountain zebra has vertical stripes on its neck and torso and horizontal stripes on its legs. Grévy’s zebras are usually taller, have larger ears, and their stripes are narrower.

– Zebras’ black and white striped pattern acts as a bug repellant, keeping horseflies and other blood-suckers away. Some scientists believe their stripes also act as sunscreen or camouflage.

– While black and white may not seem like a good option for camouflage, most of the zebras’ predators, such as lions, are colorblind. Zebras bunch together to confuse their colorblind predators, which mistake the striped pattern for grass.

– Zebras have excellent eyesight and can see in color, but they cannot see the color orange.

– Zebras are social animals and can often be found in large groups, called a dazzle, a zeal, or simply a herd. A male zebra is called a stallion, a female zebra is known as a mare, and baby zebras are called foals or cubs.

– Zebra herds vary in size, usually with 5 to 20 families traveling together. This can be as large as 1,000 individual zebras. When traveling, zebras often form hierarchies with a dominant stallion in the lead, followed by the mares and their foals.

– When a mother zebra gives birth, she will keep her foal away from all other zebras for two or three days until the foal can recognize her scent, voice, and appearance.

– Zebra foals are able to stand six minutes after being born, walk after 20 minutes, and run within forty minutes.

Zebras have unique ways of defending themselves from predators, including forming a semi-circle and biting, nipping, or kicking if they come too close. They also protect their injured family members by encircling them. Zebras possess a powerful kick, with the ability to exert nearly 3,000 pounds of force, which can even kill a fully grown lion with a single blow. They have excellent hearing due to the position of their ears, which allows them to hear in almost any direction and communicate their mood with other zebras. Zebras also use facial expressions and sounds to communicate, such as loud braying or barking sounds and soft snorting sounds. The Grévy’s zebra is named after Jules Grévy, the president of France, and is mostly found in East Africa, where it is considered an endangered species. The plains zebra is the most widespread species of zebra, and there are six known subspecies. Zebras are mostly covered in white and striped with black or dark brown stripes, but their skin underneath is black. They run in a zig-zag pattern when chased by predators to avoid being caught, and can run up to 40 miles per hour. Zebras are constantly on the move, looking for food and water, but can survive for a long time without water, only drinking once every five days. They are impressive climbers, especially mountain zebras, and can sleep standing up. Zebras can be found in various protected areas, including wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Ethiopia and Kenya.

The wild population of plains zebras was estimated to be approximately 500,000 in 2016, leading to their classification as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Zebras have been bred with horses or donkeys to create “zebroids” since the early 19th century. Zebra crossings, the black and white stripes on the roads in the UK, are famous, with the Abbey Road crossing in London being the most well-known as it was used for the cover of The Beatles’ eleventh studio album. Wendy Jarnet holds the Guinness World Record for owning the largest collection of zebra-related items, with 508 items ranging from soft toys to clothing and jewelry. Zebras are fascinating creatures with adorable foals, distinctive stripes, and a tendency to live in large groups. If you come across a zebra or a zeal on a zoo or safari trip in Africa, why not share some of these fascinating facts with others?


1. What is a zebra?

A zebra is a member of the horse family that is native to Africa. They are well-known for their black and white striped coats.

2. How many species of zebras are there?

There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the mountain zebra, and the Grevy’s zebra. Each species has its own unique stripe pattern.

3. Why do zebras have stripes?

The exact reason why zebras have stripes is still not fully understood, but there are several theories. Some scientists believe that the stripes help to confuse predators, while others think that they play a role in social communication.

4. How fast can zebras run?

Zebras are fast runners and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

5. What do zebras eat?

Zebras are herbivores and primarily eat grass, but they may also eat leaves, bark, and stems.

6. Where do zebras live?

Zebras are native to Africa and can be found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, savannas, and even mountainous regions.

7. What are some unique behaviors of zebras?

Zebras are known for several unique behaviors, including their vocalizations, such as braying and snorting, and their tendency to form herds for protection. They also have strong social bonds and may groom each other as a form of social interaction.

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