Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some Interesting Stuff About Zebras

Zebras are black with white stripes.  If you thought they were white with black stripes, you were wrong!  Every zebra has a pattern of stripes that is different from all other zebras, just like every snowflake is different from every other snowflake.  So this is how you can tell your zebras apart, if you happen to have more than one.

The word zebra comes from an Old Portuguese word that means wild ass.  Zebras are related to horses and donkeys, but they are much cuter because of their stripes, at least in my opinion.  There are three kinds of zebras:  Plains zebras, Mountain zebras, and Grevy's zebras.  Mostly, there are still plenty of Plains zebras, but there aren't so many Mountain zebras or Grevy's zebras, so we have to be careful and make sure they don't go extinct, like the quagga did.

The reason zebras have stripes is so that lions won't be able to see them very well.  This only works because lions are color blind.  So if a zebra is standing in tall grass, it's hard for a lion to see the zebra.  And if a whole bunch of zebras are standing together or running together, it's sort of hard to tell where one zebra stops and the next zebra starts, and this supposedly makes it hard for lions to pick out just one zebra to hunt down and eat.  Also the stripes are confusing to tsetse flies, so they don't bite the zebras so much.

You don't usually see people riding zebras, the way you see people riding horses, and this is because zebras don't like being tamed.  Sometimes zebras will attack people, which is not a good thing, and they will do other unpredictable stuff.  So that's why people don't spend much time trying to tame zebras.

Which is not to say that no one has ever tried to do it.  For example, here is a picture of Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild using a team of zebras to pull his carriage in London.

And here is a man riding a zebra in East Africa.  

But mostly, if you want to see zebras, you will have to go to the zoo or else to Africa.  You can see zebras in either of those places, but you will probably not be able to pet them, and you will not see anybody riding them.  Also you will probably not be allowed to adopt a zebra to keep in your house as a pet, so I recommend getting a dog instead.


  1. Hey...interesting about Zebras. Now that I know what the word Zebra means or it's origin; should I come across a person that I maybe sort of think is acting like an a-- ....well, I'll just say, "oh you zebra." :) I doubt the information I took from yesterday's blog is the reason you wrote about Zebras!! I thank you anyway.
    Love, AP