We’re off to Africa to meet one of nature’s coolest looking creatures. Check out our ten top zebra facts!

Zebra facts

Fast zebra facts 

Phylum: Chordata
Family name: Equidae
Classification: Mammal
IUCN status: Plains zebra: Least Concern. Grevy’s zebra: Endangered. Mountain zebra: Vulnerable
Lifespan (in wild): 25 years
Weight: 200-450 kg
Body length: 2.2-2.5m
Top speed: 65km/h
Diet: Herbivore
Habitat: Grassland
Range:
Zebra facts

1) Our planet is home to three different species of zebra, the plains zebra, Grevy’s zebra and mountain zebra, all three species are native to Africa.

2) The most common species is the plains zebra, which roams grasslands and woodland of eastern and southern Africa. The Grevy’s zebra can be found in dry, semi-desert areas of Kenya and Ethiopia, and the mountain zebra lives in mountainous and hilly habitats in Namibia, Angola and South Africa.

3) Closely related to horses, zebras have thick bodies, thin legs, a tufted tail, and a long head and neck sporting a short mane. And their most famous feature? Their brilliant black-and-white striped coat, of course!

4) So why do zebras have stripes? Well, scientists aren’t entirely sure. Their stripes perhaps serve to dazzle and confuse predators and biting insects, or to control the animal’s body heat. Because each individual’s stripes are unique, their stripes may also have a social purpose, helping zebras to recognise one other.

Zebra facts

5) These cool creatures are herbivores and spend most of their day eating grass, and sometimes leaves, shrubs twigs and bark, too. Their teeth are well adapted for grazing, with sharp incisors at the front of their mouth to bite the grass, and large molars at the back for crushing and grinding.

6) Zebras are constantly on the move for fresh grass to eat and water to drink. Super stealthy creatures, they’ll travel thousands of kilometres in search of green pastures where they can fill their bellies and quench their thirst!

7) Zebras are social animals and live together in large groups, called herds. As they migrate to new feeding grounds, ‘super herds’ may form consisting of thousands of individuals. They may team up with other grazers on their travels, too, such as antelope and wildebeest.

8) Within a herd, zebras tend to stay together in smaller family groups, made up of a dominant male, several females (called ‘mares’) and their young (called ‘foals’). When they are between one and three years old, males (or ‘stallions’) leave to join ‘bachelor herds’ (all-male groups), where they stay until they’re old enough and strong enough to compete for females.

Zebra facts

9) As elegant and peaceful as they are, don’t be fooled – zebras can be aggressive animals, too! Stallions fight for females with piercing bites and powerful kicks that are strong enough to cause serious damage – and sometimes even kill!

10) Their fierce fighting skills and strong social bonds help to protect zebras from predators, which include lions, leopards, hyenas and cheetahs. When under threat, these awesome animals form a semi-circle facing the attacker, and prepare to strike if need be. And if one of the group is wounded or injured, other zebras will circle around and attempt to drive off the hungry attacker. All for one and one for all!

Credits – Close up of zebra: Medford Taylor. Zebra herd: Chris Johns. Zebra mother and foal: Beverly Joubert. Close up of zebra tail: Joel Sartore.
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COMMENTS

  • Mahnoor

    I love zebras and I love this website it helps me learn about animals in a fun way

  • Eliza

    It was so helpful for my school project

  • lion guy! :)

    i love horses and zebras (the only reason i love zebras is because i love horses!

  • Saraya

    It's a little bit cool that they kick but I love all the animals in the world but it's ok I like it it's cool

  • Abby

    I ❤️Zebras thx soo much

  • Stacie

    I love zebras now!

  • Lucy Goosey

    I love zebra's their my favourite animal. I love their stripes.

  • Gwenna

    I love this website so much! It is a good way of learning all about animals! :) I used this website in my powerpoint and I got an A! -Gwenna xo

  • awesome facts dood or doodet

  • Horsegurl

    They are beautiful animals! Love it!

  • Violet

    I LOVE ZEBRAS.

  • I love Zebras because they are related to horsses

  • Chayse

    great facts.

  • Chayse

    Cool facts about Zebras. i love reading them.

  • Simran

    I love this website you find everything

  • I love animals

  • Alexa

    Zebras are cool and smart

  • Jayda

    I didn't know that zebras are herbivores

  • Jayda

    I didn't know that zebras are a herbivore

  • Jassi

    Very nice! My sister loves Zebra's and loves every single animal on the website! thanks its awesome!

  • Brooke winter

    Very cool! =)

  • Brooke winter

    i am finding out about animals, i wanted to find out about zebras =)

  • abbi

    love stripes

  • Remy

    Cool zebra facts!!

  • AIS42

    I found those fact very interesting I could read that again.I love Zebras.

  • Tomas

    Cool

  • Aaliyah hull

    It is facernaiting to read and I think that lots of kids should read it

  • Turtle girl

    Zebras are my favourite land animal

  • Amy

    I can't believe that Zebras have stripes because they confuse predators!

  • Remy

    Good zebra facts

  • Miraculous Marshmellows

    Our favourite fact is that Zebras protect the injured during an attack.

  • Victoria Z

    I love the facts

  • madison

    nice facts they helped me a lot

  • Coco

    WOW! I love these creatures and I love to get to know more about them.

  • ella

    love zebras

  • Michael

    Awesome. I never knew thanks for the info

  • aaron1973.abell@gmail.com

    Hi I read national geographic all the time and my kids always use mags for school projects.

  • Niamh Somerville

    Awesome facts!

  • Lionators

    my favourite fact was all the different kinds of zebra species there are

  • Alexandra

    I have a few questions.1.are zebras endangered?2.how many are left in the world?

  • Samara

    I love National Geographic :)

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