Zebras are large animals that stay in herds in the grasslands. They like most other animals inhabiting the grasslands are most active during the rainy season. Zebras are rather medium sized animals and belong to the horse family (equidae).
They, like horses can run extremely fast, usually about 40 miles per hour. Their bodies, with long thin legs, and short hairs are made for exactly this lifestyle.
Their most adaptive feature is their striking black and white striped coat, which is type of camouflage called “disruptive coloration”. It helps them to blend into their surroundings especially during dawn, when most predators in their habitat are active.
Their strong bodies are also built for protection against predators. Although they are not considered fierce, their powerful back kick helps them negotiate many confrontations with predators.
They live in herds and are essentially sociable creatures. Each family group has about 10 to 20 zebras, consisting of one stallion, a few mares and their little ones. These family units remain intact even when they join the big herds.
There is strong cohesion between the herd members, and this is seen most clearly if a family goes astray or a zebra becomes sick. They spend days looking for the lost ones and tending to their sick, often accommodating the sick zebra into their pack.
Lion often hunt zebras. Zebras have a keen sense of smell and can smell a lion from a distance. This along with their long legs helps them evade predators by running fast.
Zebras are a healthy lot of animals too. Because of their constitution, they can resist many diseases that often affect cattle.
There is always a night watchman in the zebra herd. He stays awake at night to make sure the coast is clear, and indicates it by neighing a safety signal.
Their ears are excellent indication of their emotions. If they are erect, it means they are calm. If they are pulled back, it means he is angry, and if they are straining forward, it means he is afraid.
The newborn zebra babies are very resilient, adapting to their environment within about an hour or two of birth. However, the mother nurses her young very closely for the first seven months.