Monday, April 30, 2012

Zebras

Zebra by Elaine Murphy (Source)
A to Z April Challenge, and a challenge it has indeed been. And Since Lee decided to use a Zebra as his icon theme, thus linking A to Z with April To Zebra, I decided to follow his lead and finish off with a post dedicated to the beautiful African Zebra. And beautiful they really are.
These are not aggressive animals but will give you a kick to remember if you approach too closely, well in the wild they will. I find it strange that they've never been tamed and domesticated like donkeys and horses, but in a way I'm glad, I like them free.
Just around the corner from my home.


Zebras are social animals, staying together in families or harems which may join other groups to form herds, sometimes in the tens of thousands. Their stripes are a bit of a mystery, no one quite knows why they have them and of course there are lots of theories. The stripes are almost like fingerprints, each animals stripe pattern is different even though their overall pattern may be similar for a particular region and herd group.
Source
source
And then their is also the fact that they will protect each other. If an animal is injured, the rest of the family will surround it and try to drive off the predator. These are amongst the most distinctive creatures on the planet. When you mention the name, Zebra, anyone hearing the name automatically thinks black and white stripes. I love em.
There are three species of Zebras, the mountain Zebra, the plains Zebra and the Grevy's  Zebra.
The former two are horse like while the Grevy's Zebra is more donkey like and has stripes closer together.
Hartman's Mountain Zebra
The mountain Zebra prefers to live in dry mountainous areas in southern Africa surviving on clump grass and sometimes digging for water in dry river beds. They used to be quite numerous but have become endangered because of hunting in the Northern Cape. They can go for up to three days without water.
The plains Zebras are the most common of the Zebras in Africa and are found throughout sub Saharan Africa. and are far more water dependent needing to drink every day. Their diet isn't as specific as some of the other grazers that inhabit the great plains and are often the first to appear in areas where vegetation is reappearing. They are peaceful creatures even though rather active and noisy.
Plains Zebra
They are often preyed upon by lions, leopards, hyenas and even Africa wild dogs. When migrating they are also threatened by crocodiles while crossing rivers.
These Zebras form harems, with a single male, which is lead by a dominant female who will oppose other females entering the harem, well for a while anyway. Males who do not have their own harems form bachelor groups and then will abduct females from other harems to form their own with whom they mate. Females bear one baby a year who will stay with the group for about a year if male or indefinitely if female.
Female Zebra with young (Source)
The Grevey's Zebra or imperial Zebra is taller than the other Zebras and it's stripes are thinner. This Zebra is only found in Ethiopia and Kenya. Because of the more arid habitat, it can go for up to five days without water and is also more reclusive in its behavior. They differ from the other species of Zebras by not forming harems. The males claim territories of about 6 square kilometers and females range through these territories at will. There are only about 3000 of these Zebras left in the wild.
Now you know a little more about Lee's choice for his A to Z challenge character, the African Zebra. I hope you've enjoyed the challenge and have found interesting posts to read.
Blessings to all Challenge participants and a big thank you to Lee and all the co hosts, Geoff.

9 comments:

  1. I also used Zebra as my theme, but mine is paper mache made in Hati. Your blog has been so interesting and I can visit Africa in my mind's eye, thanks to you. My blog won't be posted until Monday here, MDT in Colorado but you might be interested in checking it out; I have a link to the amazing orchestra from Kinshasa, Congo. All my best.

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  2. Wow they have big herds! But do like that they do watch over each other and protect the injured. Fascinating animals! It has been a great challenge indeed; glad to see it winding down, been quite an adventure!

    betyt

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  3. That was a fun post - thanks :) I love zebras but didn't realize there were these different varieties. I particularly love the image of the mountain zebra... so cute!

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  4. Cool Geoff. The baby zebra of course the cutest. After this challenge what next? Would love to hear about James' adventure when they back.

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  5. That was so exciting, Mr Geoff! I knew you'd choose Zebra. They are cool. I like zebras.
    Thank you for doing the challenge. I enjoyed it I hope you did too.
    love
    Victor
    xx

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  6. I didn't realize that there were different kinds of zebras. The only zebra I've come in contact with lately is a zebra balloon my daughter got for her birthday last week! LOL

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  7. I love Zebras! And we are fortunate that there is a farm that we pass on the way to my kids' school that has a couple of zebras. It was very surprising the first time we saw them; you just don't see zebras grazing in fields in Maryland! Now we look forward to seeing them. The Zoo is just a couple of blocks away, so I think that the farm has some sort of partnership with the zoo, maybe helps them out. I'm not really sure why there are zebras there. But it is a sight to see!

    It was great fun "meeting" you during the challenge! I'll be stopping by again :)

    ~Lynn
    http://www.acommonsea.com

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  8. And I always thought a zebra was a zebra! How very cool and interesting!

    Congrats for making it to the end of the challenge!

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  9. Hi Geoff, I wanted to write to an email add. But could not find one. I love your blog and have enjoyed reading your content. I am relatively new to all of this and want to thank you for becoming a google friend of mine. The ABC challenge must have been great fun...gets you thinking. Keep writing.
    Penny Boden.

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