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Zebras Essay

1547 words - 6 pages

"The name "zebra" comes from the Old Portuguese word zevra which means "wild ass". The pronunciation is ZEB-rə internationally, or ZEE-brə in North America. (Zebra)" Zebras have always been a fascination of mine while growing up. It was just their extreme rarity of an animal. Mainly the fact that they looked like a horse but with stripes like a reptile would have. Unique stripes and behaviors make these among the most familiar animals to people. Zebra stripes have entered and left the fashion world and the once almost instinct equus is a well-known and revered animal to us. They can be found in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains and coastal hills. They are great runners achieving speeds of up to 40 mph. Although the zebra is considered a horse there are many difference as there are similarities.Zebra's physical characteristics are very similar to that of any horse that we know. "Zebras are generally 2.3 meters (8 feet) long, stand 1.25 - 1.5 meters (4 - 5 feet) at the shoulder and weigh around 300 kilograms (660 pounds), although some can grow to more than 410 kilograms (900 pounds). (Zebras at Animal Corner)" These statistics are very similar to a large number of horse breeds. Zebras, horses and wild Asses are all equids. They move quickly for their large size and have teeth built for grinding and cropping grass. Zebras have horse like bodies but their manes are made of short hair, their tails are Hard at the tip and their coats are striped. They are slower than horses but their great lungs helps them outrun predators. Zebras will run side to side making it more difficult for the predator. When cornered the zebra will back up and kick or bite it's the predator.(Hound)Just like every other animal in the animal kingdom there are many characteristics that separate one from the other. Other than the over 100 different breeds of horses that there are in the world there are also 3 different types of zebras. To make situations more complicated in these 3 different types of zebras there are over 12 other sub-species under them.These are the 3 main types of zebra found around the world, three species of zebra still occur in Africa, two of which are found in East Africa. "The Plains Zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchelli) is the most common, and has or had about twelve subspecies distributed across much of southern and eastern Africa. It, or particular subspecies of it, have also been known as the Common Zebra, the Dauw, Burchell's Zebra (actually the subspecies Equus quagga burchellii), Chapman's Zebra, Wahlberg's Zebra, Selous' Zebra, Grant's Zebra, Boehm's Zebra and the Quagga (another extinct subspecies, Equus quagga quagga). The Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra) of southwest Africa tends to have a sleek coat with a white belly and narrower stripes than the Plains Zebra. It has two subspecies and is classified as vulnerable. Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) is the largest type, with a...

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