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Zebra Facts

Updated on April 26, 2013

What Are Zebras?

Zebras are mammals in the horse family that live in Africa. A zebra can be characterized by its black and white stripes, and no two zebras have the same pattern of stripes. Despite being closely related to horses, zebras have never been domesticated by humans. Although zebras are only found in Africa, they can live in a variety of climates. The climates that a zebra can live in are grasslands, coastal hills, mountains, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, and other climates as well. Zebras are fascinating creatures that can live in different climates in the same continent.

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What Do Zebras Eat?

Zebras are herbivores which means they do not eat other animals. A main part of the zebra's diet consists of grass although similar foods such as shrubs, twigs, and leaves also find their way in the zebra's diet. Unlike most herbivores, zebras can eat the coarse grass. Zebras can eat this coarse grass which means when other herbivores get to the area, the soft grass is left for them. Zebras eat a lot of grass, and in fact, a zebra eats for 60% of the day. When food is scarce, zebras eat for up to 80% of the day.

Why Zebras Cannot Be Domesticated

The horse is a relative of the zebra which has been domesticated by humans. However, the zebra is a different animal that is much harder to be domesticated although some have tried. Zebras were used to move carriages during some of the few successful attempts to domesticate zebras which did not last long. The main reason that zebras cannot be domesticated by mankind is because zebras respond to stress in a very unpredictable nature. Zebras ran away from any danger which also meant running away from the owner.

A Zebra's Stripes

The stripes of a zebra has confused a lot of people about whenever the white stripes cover the black stripes or if the black stripes cover the white stripes. The zebra's stripe pattern is white on black which is quite surprising.

Zebras In Our Culture

Although zebras cannot be domesticated, they are still useful in our culture. Zebras are mentioned in many African folk tales that try to explain how the zebra got its stripes. Zebras are popular in art and styles of furniture, carpets, and fashion. Zebras have also made their way to the big screen as well. Some movies such as Madagascar and Racing Stripes feature zebras in the starring role. Although we have not domesticated the zebra, these animals still find a way in our lives through movies, merchandise, folk tales, and other methods as well.

How Do You Like Zebras?

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      AnimalHouse 5 years ago

      It's nice knowing that Zebras respond to stress in a very unpredictable nature that's why they can't be domesticated. Learned something from your lens! Thank you for sharing. :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice to know more about them.. thanks for sharing..

    • ChrisLdn profile image

      ChrisLdn 5 years ago

      Zebras are such beautiful animals! One of my favorite wild animals for sure.

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 5 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      Excellent lens! Zebra are so beautiful! Thanks so much for share I really enjoyed your information on sabra facts.