5 Fascinating Facts About Zebras
By McKenzie Mak
We’re not horsing around with these five fun facts about zebras!
Zebras are much more than just a horse’s striped relative. To learn what makes these gorgeous animals so special, keep reading!
1. A zebra’s stripes are like human fingerprints
Every zebra has a unique stripe pattern! While zebras might look the same to us from a distance, there are actually variations in each zebra’s stripes. The reason for each zebra’s distinct stripes is still a mystery to scientists, but the most widely accepted theory is that stripes allow zebras to recognize one another.
2. Zebras can sleep standing up
Just like their horse relatives, zebras are able to sleep standing up by locking the joints in their knees. This helps them quickly awaken from a nap and escape from predators. However, when they need deep sleep, zebras often lay on their sides.
3. There are three species of zebra
The plains zebra, the mountain zebra, and the Grévy’s zebra are the three types of zebras that are alive today. Grévy’s zebras are the largest, weighing up to 1,000 pounds. The plains zebras can weigh up to 850 pounds. Their territory stretches from southern Ethiopia and South Sudan to northern South Africa. The smallest zebra species, the mountain zebra, can still weigh up to 800 pounds. They are found only in South Africa, Namibia, and Angola.
4. Zebras’ stripes are used for camouflage
Like many animals with distinct patterns, zebras’ stripes help them camouflage themselves from predators, like lions. When zebras are in herds, their stripes help to obscure individual silhouettes, making it more difficult for predators to identify them.
5. Zebras have sophisticated communication skills
At least six distinct vocalizations are used by plains zebras. Snorts signal contentment while a two-syllable cry warns the herd of approaching predators. Additionally, they communicate through facial expressions. Zebras stretch their faces forward and put their ears forward to meet each other. They push their ears to their skulls when feeling threatened.
Many wild animals, including zebras, are exploited in cruel entertainment venues, like roadside and “safari park” type zoos. To take action for wildlife, sign our Wildlife. Not Entertainers pledge and help educate people about the exploitation of wildlife.