The Hagerman horse Equus simplicidens is sometimes referred to as the American zebra due to perceived similarities to the plains zebra, and sometimes depicted as striped. However, consensus appears to be that it wasn't particularly closely related to either Hippotigiris nor Dolichohippus , nor is there unambiguous evidence that it had stripes. The common plains zebra is about 1. It was previously believed that zebras were white animals with black stripes, since some zebras have white underbellies.
Embryological evidence, however, shows that the animal's background color is black and the white stripes and bellies are additions. The stripes are typically vertical on the head, neck, forequarters, and main body, with horizontal stripes at the rear and on the legs of the animal. A wide variety of hypotheses have been proposed to account for the evolution of the striking stripes of zebras.
The more traditional of these 1 and 2, below relate to camouflage. Zebras have four gaits: They are generally slower than horses, but their great stamina helps them outrun predators. When chased, a zebra will zig-zag from side to side, making it more difficult for the predator to attack. When cornered, the zebra will rear up and kick or bite its attacker. Zebras have excellent eyesight. Like most ungulates , the zebra's eyes are on the sides of its head, giving it a wide field of view. Zebras also have night vision , although not as advanced as that of most of their predators.
Zebras have excellent hearing and have larger, rounder ears than horses; like other ungulates, zebras can turn their ears in almost any direction. In addition to superb eyesight and hearing, zebras also have acute senses of smell and taste. Being an equid, zebras are subject to many of the same common infections and diseases of the domestic horse. Horses were first reported in to be susceptible and even a small amount of the leaves can be toxic to ponies.
In , a zebra was reported to be infected with a nematode, halicephalobus , usually associated with decaying plant material. Like most members of the horse family, zebras are highly social. Their social structure, however, depends on the species. Mountain zebras and plains zebras live in groups, known as 'harems', consisting of one stallion with up to six mares and their foals. Bachelor males either live alone or with groups of other bachelors until they are old enough to challenge a breeding stallion. When attacked by packs of hyenas or wild dogs a zebra group will huddle together with the foals in the middle while the stallion tries to ward them off.
A group of these zebras rarely stays together for more than a few months. The foals stay with their mothers, while adult males live alone. Like the other two zebra species, bachelor male zebras will organize in groups.
Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, and only sleep when neighbors are around to warn them of predators. Zebras communicate with each other with high-pitched barks and whinnying. A zebra's ears signify its mood. When a zebra is in a calm, tense or friendly mood, its ears stand erect.
When it is frightened, its ears are pushed forward. When angry, the ears are pulled backward. When surveying an area for predators, zebras will stand in an alert posture with ears erect, head held high, and staring. When tense, they will also snort. When a predator is spotted or sensed, a zebra will bark or bray loudly. Zebras feed almost entirely on grasses, but may occasionally eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark.
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Their digestive systems allow them to subsist on diets of lower nutritional quality than that necessary for other herbivores. Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to breed until the age of five or six.
Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year. Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born. A zebra foal is brown and white instead of black and white at birth. Plains and mountain zebra foals are protected by their mothers, as well as the head stallion and the other mares in their group. Attempts have been made to train zebras for riding, since they have better resistance than horses to African diseases.
While occasionally successful, most of these attempts failed due to the zebra's more unpredictable nature and tendency to panic under stress. For this reason, zebra-mules or zebroids crosses between any species of zebra and a horse, pony, donkey or ass are preferred over purebred zebras.
In England, the zoological collector Walter Rothschild frequently used zebras to draw a carriage. In , Rosendo Ribeiro , the first doctor in Nairobi, Kenya, used a riding zebra for house calls. In the midth century, Governor George Grey imported zebras to New Zealand from his previous posting in South Africa , and used them to pull his carriage on his privately owned Kawau Island.
Captain Horace Hayes, in "Points of the Horse" circa , compared the usefulness of different zebra species.
In , Hayes broke a mature, intact mountain zebra stallion to ride in two days' time, and the animal was quiet enough for his wife to ride and be photographed upon. He found the Burchell's zebra easy to break, and considered it ideal for domestication, as it was immune to the bite of the tsetse fly. He considered the quagga now extinct well-suited to domestication due to being easy to train to saddle and harness.
Modern man has had great impact on the zebra population. Zebras were, and still are, hunted for their skins, and for meat. They also compete with livestock for forage  and are sometimes culled. The Cape mountain zebra was hunted to near extinction, with less than individuals by the s. The population has since increased to about due to conservation efforts. Both mountain zebra subspecies are currently protected in national parks, but are still endangered.
Hunting and competition from livestock have greatly decreased their population. Because of the population's small size, environmental hazards, such as drought, are capable of affecting the entire species. Plains zebras are much more numerous and have a healthy population. Nevertheless, they too have been reduced by hunting and loss of habitat to farming. One subspecies, the quagga, is now extinct. Zebras have been the subject of African folk tales which tell how they got their stripes.
According to a San folk tale of Namibia , the zebra was once all white, but acquired its black stripes after a fight with a baboon over a waterhole. After kicking the baboon so hard, the zebra lost his balance and tripped over a fire, and the fire sticks left scorch marks all over his white coat. Zebras are a popular subject in art.
What is the opposite of zebra? | Yahoo Answers
When depicted in movies and cartoons, zebras are most often miscellaneous characters, but have had some starring roles, notably in Madagascar , Racing Stripes and Khumba. One of the recurring characters in My Little Pony: Don't suppose that helps much though. It would still be a Zebra, just the stripes are reversed. Opposite in what respect? There's no opposite unless you define the characteristics you want to compare.
Sounds like a joke question, like "an animal that has white and black stripes instead of black and white stripes? I'm sure that would be a Braze. For the record, a zebra is neither a black horse with white stripes nor a white horse with black stripes. It is a brown horse with black and white stripes. I don't get the point of your question A Z-bra is the largest size they make. Related Questions Is zebra white with black stripes or the opposite? Proof to whether zebras are black with white stripes or the opposite!? Are zebra's white with black stripes or exactly the opposite?