Top 10 Interesting Facts About Zebras : It is not surprising that wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world travel to Africa to view its plethora of stunning creatures, given the large number of spectacular animals that call Africa home. The zebra is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable animals in Africa that most people are interested in viewing and spotting in their safari tours. Due to their captivating and distinctive physical characteristics, zebras are among the most alluring and gorgeous wild animals in Africa. The majority of visitors to Africa on wildlife safari vacations want to see zebras, and most of them don’t feel that their safari experience was complete without doing so.
In southern and eastern Africa, zebras are primarily found and live in vast herds. In terms of pure visual impact, few creatures are as spectacular as the zebra. While giant pandas, penguins, and skunks may all have striking color patterns in common, the zebra stands out thanks to its contrasting stripes. However, the zebra is much more than just a striped horse and if so, then what is so special about these wild creature? People and travelers who are curious about zebras and who want to observe these creatures regularly ask those questions. By presenting you with the top 10 fascinating facts about zebras that you probably didn’t know, we hope to demonstrate what distinguishes them from other wild animals.
What makes zebra animals unique? The following are the top ten fascinating zebra facts that help you define and distinguish these endearing African wild animals.
- Zebra stripes are probably used to control pests.
This most significant issue has been discussed by scientists for 150 years. Theories include using camouflage to deter predators, communicating with other members of their species, and controlling their body temperature. 1. However, research indicates that the most likely theory is significantly less appealing. 2. Zebras are shielded from biting flies by zebra stripes, which are actually a type of pest control. Scientists discovered that horses were disproportionately more susceptible to fly bites than zebras under the same circumstances by comparing zebras to horses, their closest living relative, and came to the conclusion that those magnificent stripes represent more than just decoration.
- There are 3 different zebra species.
The three remaining zebra species are the plains zebra, the mountain zebra, and the Grévy’s zebra, and they can be found in all parts of Africa. All three are members of the genus Equus, along with horses and donkeys.
The Grévy zebra, which is unique to Ethiopia and Kenya, was given its name in honor of Jules Grévy, the 19th-century president of France who received one as a gift from Abyssinia. It can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and is the biggest of the three. Smaller and weighing up to 850 pounds are plain zebras. Their distribution stretches from southern Ethiopia and South Sudan to northern South Africa. The mountain zebra, the smallest species, can weigh up to 800 pounds and is only found in South Africa, Namibia, and Angola.
- Zebras’ stripes are like human fingerprints (each species has different types of stripes).
By species, zebra stripes range widely in width and design. The ears and mane of the Grevy’s zebra, as well as the rest of its body, are covered in thin vertical stripes. The plains zebra has either lighter or dark brown stripes all over or black stripes with a predominantly white body color. Their striped pattern changes depending on where they live. Mountain zebras have a white or off-white body color and closely spaced black or deep brown body stripes. Their heads, torsos, and rump do not have stripes, and those that do have stripes are thinner than those on their belly. Zebras’ stripes are as distinctive as fingerprints, even among members of the same species.
- Zebras can travel for long distances.
Like many other large African herbivores, zebras are always moving in search of food and water. Zebras are a component of the “Great Migration” in Serengeti national park, East Africa, which takes place every year and involves millions of zebra, wildebeest, and other antelope traveling 500 miles across Tanzania and Kenya, through the Serengeti, the Maasai Mara, and the Ngorongoro Crater. Zebras have been observed in Southern Africa, crossing 300 miles in a straight line across Namibia and Botswana, according to researchers. This is the longest migration among all African animals, and although it is shorter than the Great Migration circuit altogether, it is longer in only one direction.
- Zebras are Impressive climbers.
Mountain zebras naturally inhabit rough terrain at high altitudes. They have strong, pointed hooves that enable them to scale mountains; therefore, they are well-suited for their environment. Mountain zebras, who live at elevations of more than 6,500 feet, use their outstanding climbing skills to travel between mountains in search of food and water. Plains zebras compete by living in a variety of habitats, from highlands that reach heights of 14,000 feet to the Serengeti plains. Grévy’s zebras often stay at elevations under 2,000 feet, closer to the grassland habitats they enjoy.
- Zebras lives in a group called “dazzle”
A group of zebras is referred to as a “dazzle” because of their distinctively striped coats. This name also alludes to a rare occurrence known as “motion dazzle,” an optical illusion that happens when herds of zebra move swiftly alongside one another. Researchers claim that zebras benefit greatly from motion dazzle because it distorts other mammals’ vision, especially that of predators. This increases the likelihood that zebras will be able to flee. Given that horse flies find zebras to be a less appealing meal source due to the high contrast patterns, the black and white stripes can also deter them.
- Zebras are one of the most social animals.
Most African wild zebras live relatively social lives. One male, one to six females, and their progeny make up a plains zebra’s harem, which is a tiny family unit. The ladies in the harem have strong relationships and will remain together even if the dominant male abandons them or kills them. Large breeding herds and clusters of non-breeding males coexist in the mountain zebra’s social structure. The herd’s actions are most likely to be started by the dominant male stallion. The zebras of Grévy have a less rigid social structure. The herd’s composition changes constantly, sometimes even every day. A mare’s relationship with her young is the one that is consistently the most stable among Grévy’s zebras.
- Zebras are constantly on alert for danger.
The herd is constantly on the lookout for threats such as lions, hyenas, leopards, and cheetahs. Plains zebras use a high-pitched call to warn the herd of approaching predators. At least one creature from the group is awake at night to maintain watch. In populations of mountain zebras, the dominant male may also snort to alert predators, giving the remainder of the herd time to flee. Although not the most gregarious of the species, a group of Grévy’s zebras will stick together in solidarity when a threat approaches.
- Zebras may defend themselves in a number of ways.
Zebras may repel predators from their herd and their territory by biting, kicking, and pushing them away. When another stallion tries to take control of their herd or to assert dominance during mating, they will act aggressively in a similar manner. When a zebra is threatened, several zebras defend it and surround it in a circle to fend off the attacker. Zebras may move as quickly as 40 to 55 miles per hour to flee danger, making running a more prevalent mode of self-defense.
- Zebras are black animals in nature with just a few white stripes.
Is a zebra a white animal with black stripes, as is commonly believed? Possibly even black creatures with white stripes? Modern genetic research has finally settled the debate: zebras are black animals with white stripes. For many years, scientists thought it was the latter (as many zebras had white underbellies).
WHERE TO SEE ZEBRAS IN AFRICA AND WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SEE THEM?
Zebras are one of the many animals in Africa, and seeing them is guaranteed and certain in each national park you visit, unlike other species that are endangered and seeing them is rare, such as leopards and black rhinos. The Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park, Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, Nyerere National Park, Mkomazi National Park, and many other national parks in Tanzania are among the places where zebras can be found.
Zebras can also be spotted in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, Nairobi National Park, and Uganda’s Kidepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth, and Murchison Falls national parks.
The best time to see zebras in east African countries, particularly in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya, is during the dry seasons when the habitats of the national parks are small, giving you a chance to see them even in a very faraway place. Additionally, during this time, zebras tend to congregate in various water sources, such as swamps and rivers, in search of drinking water.
“You have a 99 percent chance of seeing these magnificent animals if you visit the east African nations of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. To increase your chances of seeing them on your Africa safari tour, book with FOCUS EAST AFRICA TOURS because we are more experienced in all of the national parks of Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya, which gives us the advantage of knowing exactly where to search for animals and where to look”