Zebras are from Africa. They are related to horses and are in the same family, but they are not the same species. Let’s find out more interesting things about these horses with black and white stripes in our zebra facts for kids article.

Scientific Classification of Zebra

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Perissodactyla

Family: Equidae

Genus: Equus

Subgenus: Hippotigris

Zebra Facts for Kids 1-6

1. A male zebra is named a stallion and a female is called a mare. Baby zebras are called foals, but sometimes they are called cubs.

Also, to add to the confusion, a baby zebra is also called a filly if it’s a girl and a colt if it’s a boy.

2. Even though zebras look elegant and calm, don’t be fooled. They can also be very aggressive.

Stallions fight for females with sharp bites and powerful kicks that can hurt or kill.

3. Zebras are horses’ close relatives. They have thick bodies, skinny legs, tufted tails, strong necks, and long heads with short manes.

And what is their best-known feature? Their magnificent black-and-white striped coat.

4. Each species of zebra has its own general pattern of stripes, and each individual zebra has its own pattern of stripes.

Because of this, zebra stripes are as unique as fingerprints or snowflakes.

5. Zebra foals can stand up just six minutes after they are born. They can walk after twenty minutes, and they can run after forty minutes.

6. In addition to using their ears, zebras talk with their faces and sounds. For example, they often bray or bark loudly and make soft snorting sounds.

Zebras show what they want to say by where their ears are, how wide their eyes are open, and whether or not they show their teeth.

Zebra Facts for Kids 7-12

zebra looking at distance in the wild - zebra facts for kids

7. There are three kinds of zebra species on Earth: the plains zebra, the Grevy’s zebra, and the mountain zebra. All three of these zebras live in Africa.

8. So why are there stripes on zebras? Scientists aren’t really sure, though.

Their stripes might confuse and throw off predators and biting insects, or they might help the animal keep its body temperature in check.

Because each zebra has its own unique pattern of stripes, it’s possible that the stripes also help zebras recognize each other.

9. The Grévy’s zebra is named after Jules Grévy, who was president of France in 1882. The emperor of Abyssinia gave him a zebra as a gift. 

10. The plains zebra is the most common type. It lives in the grasslands and forests of eastern and southern Africa.

Grevy’s zebras live in dry, semi-desert areas of Kenya and Ethiopia.

Mountain zebras live in hilly and mountainous areas of Namibia, Angola, and South Africa.

11. The stripes on the plains zebra are wider than those on the other two species.

The mountain zebra usually has horizontal stripes on its legs and vertical stripes on its neck and torso.

Most of the time, Grévy’s zebras are taller, have bigger ears, and have narrower stripes.

12. The black and white stripes on their coats keep horseflies and other bloodsucking insects away.

Scientists also think that their stripes protect them from the sun or help them hide.

Zebra Facts for Kids 13-18

13. Lions, leopards, hyenas, and cheetahs are some of the animals that eat zebras.

Their fierce fighting skills and strong social bonds keep them safe from these animals.

When they feel threatened, they form a half-circle in front of the threat and get ready to strike if they have to.

And if one of the groups is hurt or wounded, the other zebras will circle around and try to scare away the hungry attacker. 

14. When a mother zebra gives birth, she usually keeps her foal away from all other zebras for two or three days, until the foal can recognize her smell, voice, and appearance.

15. Even though black and white might not seem like a good way to hide, most of the animals that eat zebras, like lions, are colorblind. So, zebras stick together to trick predators that can’t see colors and think the striped pattern is grass.

16. Zebras tend to stay in smaller family groups within a herd. These groups are made up of a dominant male, multiple females, and their foals.

Males leave when they are between one and three years old to join “bachelor herds,” which are groups of only males, where they stay until they are old enough and strong enough to compete for females.

17. Zebra herds are made up of anywhere from five to twenty families.

This can have as many parts as 1,000 zebras. Zebras often travel in groups, with the most robust stallion in front, followed by the mares and their young.

18. Zebras are herbivores meaning they eat plants, grasses, and roots.

Zebra Facts for Kids 19-24

a zebra grooming another zebra with another zebra in the background

19. There are different names for a group of zebras. It can be called a dazzle of zebras, a zeal of zebras, or just a herd of zebras.

20. Zebras are social animals that live in big groups, which are called “herds.”

As they move to new places to eat, they may form “super herds” with thousands of individuals.

They may travel with other grazers, like antelope and wildebeest, who also eat grass.

21. Zebras are in the family Equidae, which is also called the horse family. There are horses and donkeys also in this group.

22. The kick of a zebra is very strong. They can kick with almost 3,000 pounds of force, which is enough to kill a full-grown lion with a single blow to the body.

23. Zebras have great eyesight and are one of the few animals that can see in color. However, zebras can’t see orange color.

24. Zebras can hear very well. Because of where their ears are, they can hear in almost any direction. They use this skill to tell other zebras how they’re feeling.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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