Zebras are one of the most iconic animals in Africa, and they are easy to identify with their black and white stripes.

Though you may see them roaming free in the wild, Zebras can also be found in many zoos across the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about Zebras!

Zebra Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Zebra:

Height (size) 10.8 – 15.7 hands high
Colors It is often believed that zebras have white coats with black (or occasionally brown) stripes. That is because in most cases, the stripes end on their belly and toward the inside of the legs, and the rest of their coat is white.
Country of Origin African continent
Common Uses n/a

Zebra Facts & Information

The zebra is one of the most successful and adaptable big herbivores that can be found in Africa.

Zebras share the genus Equus with horses and asses, and they are all members of the family Equidae.

The Greeks and Romans referred to the African zebra as a hippotigris, which literally translates to “horse tiger.

They have been the subject of artwork and literature throughout Africa and beyond.

Zebras, in contrast to horses and donkeys, have never been properly domesticated, despite the fact that collectors of exotic animals have long shown a strong interest in acquiring them.

Different Types of Zebras

Grevy’s zebras

Grevy’s zebras live in semi-arid grassland regions in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and they can survive almost a week without water, although they will drink regularly when there is enough and conserve water well.

Mountain Zebras

Mountain zebras live on steep, dry hillsides in Namibia and Angola, and may be found at altitudes as high as 6,600 feet (2,000 meters).

Plains Zebras

Plains zebras are the most common of the three species of zebras and may be found all throughout Africa, from the open grasslands of East Africa to the woodlands of southern Africa.

Plains zebras are more reliant on water than other species, and they seldom go further than 6.2 – 7.5 (10 – 12 km) miles away from a water source.

Plains zebras have been documented traveling 310 miles (500 km) between Namibia and Botswana, the longest land migration of animals in Africa.

When they migrate, they seem to remember where they found the best food and may be able to guess what it will be like months after they arrive.

The Grant’s zebra, a subspecies of the plains zebra, is well known for its remarkable migrations in the Serengeti during the rainy season, when as many as 10,000 of these animals may be seen traveling together in congregated herds.

The quagga, a subspecies of plains zebra, became extinct in the 19th century.

Common Behaviors

Most zebras are considered to be nomadic and do not have set territory, with the exception of the Grevy’s zebra. The stallions of this species use their urine and dung to mark their territories.

When traveling to new pastures, zebras often trot, which is a gait that is not only relatively quick but also quite simple for them to maintain across the great distances that they may have to cover.

Zebras will lay down to rest during the night, but one member of the group will remain standing to prevent an ambush.

Depending on the quantity and quality of the foliage that is available, zebras may spend anywhere from 60 – 80% of their time feeding.

Lions are the primary predators of zebras in the wild, as well as Nile crocodiles when they are near water.

Adults are less likely to be attacked by predators such as leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, brown hyenas, and wild dogs.

The zebra’s primary methods of self-defense are biting and kicking, but when caught they are seldom successful in fighting off the big cats, that is why running away is very important.

Zebras do not escape lions by running fast, but by quickly turning sideways, particularly when the predator is close behind.

Different Theories on Stripes

Scientists have been debating the purpose of the stripes at the very least since the 19th century.

The following are some common theories:

  1. In 1896, Alfred Wallace presented the crypsis theory in 1896, which claims that an animal’s stripes assist it to blend in with its surroundings or break up its form so that predators cannot see it as a single entity.
  2. The confusion theory suggests that the stripes confuse predators, either by making it more difficult to differentiate individuals within a group or by making it more difficult to determine the number of zebras in a group. Zebra stripes may produce the wagon-wheel effect and barber pole illusion while moving, according to a 2014 computer research.
  3. According to the fly protection theory, the stripes act as a deterrent for biting flies.
  4. According to the thermoregulatory theory, a zebra’s stripes have a role in maintaining the animal’s ideal body temperature. In 1971, the biologist H. A. Baldwin made the observation that the black stripes would be able to absorb heat, while the white stripes would be able to reflect it.
  5. According to the social function theory, stripes perform a function in intraspecific or individual identification, social bonding, mutual grooming, or even as a signal of fitness.
  6. According to the aposematic theory, the stripes have a function similar to that of a warning coloration. In 1867, Wallace was the one who first proposed this theory, and in 1890, Edward Bagnall Poulton provided a more in-depth analysis of it.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names



Wild animal

Physical Characteristics

They have great hearing and vision and can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour (56 km per hour).

They also have a powerful kick that can cause serious injury to a predator, such as a lion, a hyena, or an African wild dog.

Zebras have black skin underneath their hair.

When zebras are together in a group, it is hard for a lion or leopard to pick out one zebra to chase because their stripes blend together.

Each zebra has a distinctive pattern of stripes, and scientists often use these patterns to identify individual zebras in the wild.

There are three different species: the plains zebra (E. quagga), the mountain zebra (E. zebra), and Grévy’s zebra (Equus grevyi), with the plains zebra being the most common.

Different zebra species have various kinds of stripes, ranging in width from thin to broad.

Actually, as you travel further south across the plains of Africa, the zebras’ stripes become more spread out.

In general they all have rather large and elongated heads, strong necks, long legs, a dorsal stripe along the spine and down a tasseled tail, and erected mane.

Also, no wild equid has a forelock, zebras included.

The hooves are very hard.


It is often believed that zebras have white coats with black (or occasionally brown) stripes.

That is because in most cases, the stripes end on their belly and toward the inside of the legs, and the rest of their coat is white.

Height (size)

10.8 – 15.7 hands high


  • Grévy’s zebra: 12.3 – 15.7 hh
  • The mountain zebra: 11.4 – 14.3 hh
  • The plains zebra: 10.8 – 14.2 hh




  • Grévy’s zebra: 775 – 990 lbs (350 – 450 kg)
  • The mountain zebra: 450 – 950 lbs (200 – 430 kg)
  • The plains zebra: 385 – 850 lbs (175 – 385 kg)

Blood Type


Common Uses




Popular Traits

Wild animal; distinctive black-and-white striped coats


They get the majority of their nutrition from grazing on grasses, although they may sometimes occasionally browse on the leaves and stems of bushes.

Country of Origin

African continent