Zebras are curious animals. Are they white with black stripes, or black with white stripes? What separates them from horses? In this fact file, we are going to take a close look at everything we know about these wild and wonderful beasts. Think of yourself to be a zebra expert? Maybe it’s time to test your knowledge. Read on for some fun facts about zebras!
1. Zig-zag away!
Zebras are pretty smart when it comes to evading predators. They will run in a zig-zag, rather than a straight line, to make it difficult for them to be caught.
2. Zealous creatures!
What’s a group of zebras called? It’s a ‘zeal’.
3. Zebras are African dwellers.
Zebras live vastly across Africa. They tend to prefer living in the savannahs and in woodlands, as well as in tall grass. Contrary to some belief, you’ll never find zebras living in the desert or in the wetland.
4. Zebras used to be circus animals.
Believe it or not, the Romans used zebras to help assist in their circuses and to help pull carriages. Thankfully, we live in more enlightened times!
5. Zebras aren’t as large as you might imagine.
Zebras are likely to be smaller than you think. They only grow to be around 5 feet tall, on average.
6. Zebra-horse hybrids are real.
Zebras and horses are pretty distinct in terms of species. They are in the same family, but they can actually breed with one another to produce zorses and hebras! To make things even more complex, these hybrid offsprings are known as zebroids.
7. You can’t catch zebras!
Zebras are impressively fast. You’ll never be able to catch one on foot – they can speed away at up to 40 mph.
8. Zebras like to stick together.
Zebras will generally stick together in family groups, though young males up to three years old will split off to form bachelor groups while competing to mate with females.
9. Zebras are color blind to a degree.
Strangely, scientists know that zebras are unable to see the color orange. Could this be a bit of a hindrance when it comes to escaping predators such as big cats?
10. Stripes protect against sunlight.
Zebras have stripy coats and skin for a reason. It’s an immense help against the heat of the Sun. Thanks to the different ways in which black and white skin absorb light, a zebra is able to cool itself fairly efficiently without having to actually do anything!
11. Zebras are emotional creatures.
Zebras, much like all intelligent mammals, have distinct moods and feelings. It’s thought that you are normally able to tell the mood of a zebra by looking closely at its ears. In fact, a zebra can rotate and swivel its ears in virtually all directions and at all angles.
12. How on Earth do they stand up?
Zebras only have one toe on each of their feet.
13. As for sleep…
Zebras are known to sleep standing up, making them a bit of an oddity in the animal world.
14. Grass is a pivotal foodstuff for the zebra.
15. Zebra lifespans will vary.
A zebra is likely to live for up to 25 years in the wild, though this may differ in captivity.
FAQs about Zebras
Do zebras have predators?
Yes - zebras often make popular prey for lions.
How do zebras know where water is?
The average zebra will actually dig to find water - weirdly enough!
Why do zebras often show teeth?
A zebra that shows its teeth generally isn’t happy - it’s a show of aggression.
Do you know any fun facts about zebras? Share them in the comments below!