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Grant’s Zebra

Grant's Zebras, native to the grasslands of eastern Africa, are known for their striking black and white striped coats. Contrary to popular belief, these unique stripes are not primarily for camouflage. According to a study by biologist Tim Caro of the University of California, the stripes likely evolved as a deterrent to biting insects such as horseflies and tsetse flies. Grant's Zebras are herbivores, grazing on grasses and vegetation in their natural habitat.

  • The Grant's zebra is the smallest of six subspecies of the plains zebra. This subspecies represents the zebra form of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. 
  • The human road crossings, commonly referred to as “zebra-crossing” are named after the herbivore’s stripes of white and black.
  • The white bands of white and black on a zebra are not used for camouflage. According to a study by Tim Caro, a biologist with the University of California, it is more likely that the stripes evolved on the zebras as a way of discouraging bits from parasites such as horsefly.
  • All zebras sleep while standing. It is an adaptation that is probably there to ensure that they are not caught off-guard by a predator. The zebras will only sleep walk while in the safety of the herd.

Grant's zebras are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. They can eat coarse grass and are resistant to diseases that affect cattle, so as long as the African plains exist, so will these zebra. Two rarer species are in danger, however- the Grevy's Zebra (endangered) and the Mountain Zebra (threatened). Please join our efforts to secure a future for this endangered species by donating to our conservation fund.

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