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Plains Zebra
Plains Zebra

Plains zebra

Order Perissodactlya- Family Equidae- Equus burchelli
Zebra are water dependent and drink daily. They are primarily grazers but take some browse occasionally. They are active early morning and late afternoon.
Zebra are preyed upon primarily by lion and hyaena but adults have been killed by wild dog. Leopard and cheetah will take foals and young sub-adults.
Defence behaviour is when fleeing from predators the stallion will retreat to the back of the group and stay between the group and the predator at all times, kicking out viciously if the predator comes within range. If one of the group is taken down by a predator the herd may turn on the predator and attack it with downward swiping kicks of the front legs. They may also bite and rip the predator off the herd member.
Zebra are home-range animals and do not mark territory.
The typical social group is a breeding herd or family group with 1 dominant stallion and his mares with their foals. Mares come into oestrus throughout the year but 80% of the time this happens in summer. The foals are born a year later and is fiercely protected by the mare. They wean after 11-12 months. Young stallions leave the herd and join bachelor groups until they are old enough to compete for a harem. When a stallion feels ready to compete he steals a filly away from another males herd when she comes into heat. She may come into heat every month for a year before she ovulates and every time she comes into heat the stallion will be challenged by other rivals. This means that by the time the mare does conceive, she is with the strongest stallion. A zebra in the wild will live to about 20 years.
Vocalizations: The typical zebra call is a bark HWO-HWHOOOP repeated in succession. They also have a typical horse-like snort.
L3- The black and white pattern of zebra has fascinated scientists for many years and several different theories have been proposed as to why such a striking colour is used by a species that is a favourite prey of lions. The most plausible of these theories is that the dazzling strips of the zebra cause confusion at close quarters when the zebra are moving at full speed in different directions. The momentary distraction from the dazzle of stripes may give the zebra the critical second required to escape. Other theories state that the lines help to break the shape of the zebra’s outline and thus making it camouflaged and the alternate white and black stripes heat differently causing a convection of air over the zebra, keeping it cool. Neither of these seem to hold much water.