The Common Zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchellii) is also known as the Plains Zebra or Burchell’s Zebra. It is common in the treeless plains of East Africa to almost southern Africa. It is an ungulate (a hoofed mammal).
The Common Zebra is like a horse or pony with short legs, and is black and white striped. The stripes continue all the way to its hooves. No two zebras are alike, as they all have slightly different markings. Its nose is grey to black.
It can grow to 1.4 metres (4.8 feet) tall, with a 47 centimetre (19 inch) tail.
The Common Zebra stays close to water sources, and does not like deserts or tropical forests. It will migrate up to 1,100 kilometres (700 miles) to look for food and water. It is a grazer, eating a variety of grasses.
For protection, there are zebras who keep watch for predators. Predators of the zebra include lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, and crocodiles. The stripes on the zebra are said to confuse their predators during an attack.
The Common Zebra is extremely social, preferring to live in herds, usually with one male and several females, but there are also all-male herds of 2-15 individuals. Sometimes they will fight each other or become quite aggressive. They will also mix with herds of other zebras and other animals, such as wildebeests. They all mix together during migration.
Female zebras are pregnant for 360-396 days, before giving birth to a single live young, called a foal. The mother looks after her young for about a year. Young zebras look brown and white.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM