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The zebra is a wild horse and lives in East Africa. Its habitat is the savannas and open forests, in which it spends the entire day grazing. If the weather in summer is too hot, the zebra will rest during the day and nourish itself at night.
Zebras have a short, stiff mane and tufted tail. Hard, wart-like knobs, called chestnuts, are found only on their front legs. Some evolutionists believe the chestnuts are the remnants of lost toes, but they are actually just calluses, not bones.
Zebras live near watering holes and drink at dawn and dusk. This is a dangerous place since lions, the zebra’s chief enemy, often wait there for prey. Zebras usually escape by running from their predators, but if surprised they are easy to kill. Other enemies with which the zebra has to contend are the hyena, cheetah, wild dog, and man.
The male and female of the species mostly live apart. A dominant stallion will control 10 to 15 mares, while young males congregate in their own herds. Combined herds can number as many as several hundred.
Zebra mares give birth after a 370-day gestation period. Long-legged and short-bodied, a zebra newborn weighs 66 to 77 pounds (30–35 kg). Shortly after birth, the foal stands on wobbly legs and instantly tries to nurse. In a short time, it will run with the herd. A newborn zebra’s stripes are not fully formed (they are dark brown with white stripes). As they mature, the dark brown darkens to black. No two zebra stripes are exactly the same (an identifier not unlike a human fingerprint).
Because it takes too much time to train them and since they are not as strong as a horse, people have not domesticated the zebra. Zebras have been bred with donkeys, and the offspring are zonkeys. This helps explain the great variety of the horse kind. God created the kinds of animals and there are changes within the kind, but there is a limit, and it doesn’t change outside of the kind.
Perissodactyla • Equidae • Equus zebra zebra
Height: 3.6–5 feet (1.1–1.5 m) at shoulder
Weight: 546–785 pounds (248–357 kg)
Length: 6.6–7.3 feet (2–2.3 m)
Life Span: 10 years
Special Design Feature: The zebra’s stripes make them difficult to see when they venture out to feed and water at dusk.
Did You Know? The zebra is a wild horse from Africa. They are one of the true wild horses of the world.