Plains zebra (common zebra). By David Cui |
Plains zebra (common zebra). By David Cui |

About plains zebras (common zebras).

Contrary to what is generally believed, the background color of zebras is black and its stripes, white.

Its skin serves as a repellent, deterring flies, horseflies and other insects. The white and black stripes are visually not attractive to these animals. It also serves as camouflage to help it hide from predators, like the lions, which are colorblind.

When they feel threatened by a predator, zebras form a semicircle to watch it and attack it if necessary. Teamwork is very important to these animals.

When running away from a predator, they reach high speeds (up to 65 km/h or 40 mph) in a zigzag motion. This often confuses their predators.

Zebras can sleep standing up, they don’t need to lay down. They often rest their heads on each other’s bodies to be safer.

They have excellent eyesight, with eyes on the sides of their head to give them a wide field of view, and also have good night vision.

They live in family groups with a stallion and several mares with their offspring. These groups get together in herds with other species, especially wildebeests and other antelopes.

The main danger for these animals is the loss of their habitat due to the cattle industry and the competition for water with livestock. Also they are hunted for their skin.

The stripes are unique to each individual. The same way that no two human fingerprints are exactly alike, zebras have different skin patterns.

Zebras communicate with each other in different ways. With the position of their ears, facial expressions with eyes and mouth, and with sounds.

Its main predators are lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. They usually run away from them, but if they are forced to confront them, they can use a powerful kick that can seriously injure their hunters.

There are three species of zebra and six subspecies of common zebra, one of them is already extinct.

A herd of common zebras (Equus Quagga) galloping in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. By MattiaATH |
A herd of common zebras (Equus Quagga) galloping in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. By MattiaATH |
Common zebra or plains zebraNear threatened
Equus quagga2,17-2,46 m (7.1-8.1 ft)
Equidae175-385 kg (386-849 lb)
PerissodactylaAn average of 25 years
Mammalia360 days
500,000 approx.Grasses.
Plains and savannahFrom the south of Ethiopia along the east of Africa, and as far south as Angola and the east of South Africa.

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Zoo portraits is a creative and educational project based on the animal kingdom and is divided into three main areas: Image, education and awareness.


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