How Much Do Zebras Eat?

Zebra: zebras are striped, African mammals of the genus Equus

Kingdom: | Animalia

Phylum: | Chordata

Class: | Mammalia

Order: | Perissodactyla

Genus: | Equus

There are currently three species of zebra: the Grévy’s zebra (Equus grevyi), the plains zebra (E

quagga) and the mountain zebra (E

The plains zebra is the most common of the three species

Their stripes vary in size and pattern, depending on the species

Zebras vary in size depending on the species

Grévy’s zebra is the largest

It is about 410 to 525 feet at shoulder height and weighs 776 to 992 pounds

The mountain zebra is slightly smaller, and is about 381 to 479 feet at shoulder height and weighs 450 to 948 pounds

The plains zebra is the smallest of the three species, and is 361 to 476 feet at shoulder height and weighs 386 to 849 pounds

The zebra is known for its black and weight striped pattern

It is a member of the Equus family and is most closely related to horses and donkeys

The three species differ slightly in appearance

The Grévy’s zebra has a mule-like appearance with a narrow skull, robust neck and conical ears

The mountain zebra’s stripes are intermediate in width between the other two species

In comparison to the other species, its eye sockets are more rounded and positioned further back

The plains zebra has broad stripes that are horizontal on the rump

The northern populations have more extensive striping, while southern populations have whiter legs and belles

The southern populations also have whiter legs and bellies, as well as more brown shadow stripes in between the black stripes

Zebras are herbivores that consume plants

Zebras primarily eat grass but will eat other plants if grass is scarce

Zebras can be found in a variety of habitats such as savannahs, grasslands, woodlands, shrublands and mountainous areas

Zebras inhabit eastern and southern Africa

Among plains and mountain zebras, the adult females mate only with their harem stallion

Meanwhile, in Grévy’s zebras, the mating is more promiscuous

On average, the gestation period is about 11 to 13 months, depending on the species

The female typically gives birth to one newborn, called a foal, at a time

The foal is capable of running within an hour of its birth

The mother will keep a careful eye over the newborn, imprinting their own striping patterns, scent and vocalization on the foal

Zebras are social animals and live in groups called herds

There is typically a lead male of the herd, called a stallion

The herd also consists of several females and their young

The stallion stays at the back of the group to defend against predators

When zebras are grouped together, the stripes make it difficult for predators, including lions and leopards, to pick out one zebra to chase

Zebras communicate with each other through facial expressions, ear positioning and sounds

A zebra’s average lifespan in the wild is 25 years

Lions, hyenas, wild dogs, and cheetahs are among zebras’ natural predators

However, the largest threats to zebras are linked to human activities, such as hunting and habitat loss or fragmentation

Habitat loss due to human encroachment, agricultural practices, and livestock grazing remains an issue in the ongoing conservation of this species

Hunting is another major threat to zebras, primarily for their skins and for their meat

In Ethiopia, hunting is the primary cause of the decline of Grévy’s zebras

While they are primarily hunted for their skins, they will occasionally be killed for food

In addition to illegal hunting, Grévy’s also face threats from disease outbreaks, drought, habitat loss, and fragmented populations

The plains zebra is listed as Near Threatened by IUCN

Meanwhile, the mountain zebra is listed as Vulnerable and the Grévy’s zebra is listed as Endangered

Conservation groups, such as the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), are working to protect all three species of zebras by working with local governments and communities

Source: the San Diego Zoo, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and NATURE’s zebra resources

Zebra Profile

Zebras (subgenus Hippotigris) are well-known for their distinctive stripes

They are members of the group Equus, which contains horses and asses

There are three living species of Zebra: the plains zebra (Equus quagga), the grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi), and the mountain zebra (Equus zebra)

Each species has unique stripes

Zebra Facts Overview

Grasslands, woodlands, savannahs, and mountainous areas

Grevy’s zebra: 350-450kg, the plain zebra: 175-385kg, and the mountain zebra: 200-430kg

No of Species:

Grevy’s zebra: endangered, mountain zebra: vulnerable, plains zebra: near-threatened

Zebras are native to the continent of Africa, specifically eastern and southern parts such as Kenya and Botswana

Favoured habitats include grasslands, woodlands, savannahs, and mountainous areas

They are the favourite prey of lions, but are also hunted by leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, brown hyenas, and Nile crocodiles

According to the IUCN’s conservation status, the Grevy’s Zebra is endangered with approx

2,250 individuals, while the mountain zebra is vulnerable, and the plains zebra is near threatened

Their decline is down to loss of habitat, illegal poaching, disease, and civil wars have also caused a drop in zebra populations

Zebras can be found in numerous protected areas and parks, which are aiming to help halt the decline, offer access to water, and increase their chances of survival

Interesting Zebra Facts

1 Their stripes are unique

Zebras are iconic for their stripes, which are actually unique to each individual, like a human’s fingerprint

Scientists have even developed a way to read their stripes like bar codes to be able to identify specific zebras in a heard

2 Zebra’s stripes are further apart the further south in Africa

Studies have shown that the further south on the African plains you travel, the farther apart the stripes of zebras are

Each species of zebra has different types of stripes, too

The the grevy’s zebra has the thinnest stripes, while the moutain zebra has vertical stripes on its neck and torso

There have been lots of theories, including that the stripes help confuse predators

Some theories suggest that the stripes work to keep them cooler, while others show that biting flies don’t like to land on stripes

4 They are black with white stripes

4 They are black with white stripes

The age-old question of whether or not zebras are white with black stripes or black with white stripes has finally been answered with science

They are generally thought of as white with black stripes, but they are in fact black with white stripes!

Zebras have black skin under their hair, too

5 Different zebra species have different social structures

The plains and mountain zebras stay in family groups, with a dominate male, females and their foals (baby zebras)

These groups usually integrate into larger herds

However, the grevy’s zebra lives primarily alone, or in loose herds

The males have territories which they protect from others, while females and their foals move freely between these territories

6 Plains zebra migrate and form super herds

Plains zebra are the most abundant of the three species and are known for their long migrations, moving to different areas in search of water and grass

Multiple family groups come together to form herds

Often as herds are migrating, they form ‘super herds’ with thousands of zebras

Other herd animals join in too, such as wildebeest and antelope

7 Plains zebra mass migrate in Botswana twice a year

This migration is around 300 miles and the moving herds contain up to 30,000 zebra

8 Plains zebra have the longest recorded migration of any African mammal

One group of plains zebra was recorded migrating 500km from Namibia to Botswana, which is actually the longest land migration of any African mammal

9 They are well adapted for grazing and staying alert for predators

This means that as they bend down to eat grass they can still watch for lions, or other predators

Zebra take part in the great wildebeest migration towards the north based on weather patterns

During this migration, they depend on one another for survival

Wildebeest have excellent hearing and smell, while zebra have exceptional vision

Despite this, it’s thought that over 250,000 zebra die each year during the migration

This is usually when defending themselves from prey, defending their young, or when males are fighting over a female

The social species of zebra will protect their members from predators

They have been seen forming defensive circles around injured members of their families or foals, often biting and kicking approaching predators

Zebra are fast and agile with long slender legs enabling them to move at high speed

They are capable of running at speeds of 58 kph (36 mph), which is faster than some of their predators, including lions

The grevy’s zebra is the largest zebra species

The grevy’s zebra has a stocky mule-like physique and measure up to 10ft in body length, and 5ft in height

They weight between 350-450kg (776 – 992 lb), have the thinnest stripes and largest ears

The plans zebra is the smallest of the species, with shorter legs and more closely resemble a horse

Their body length can reach up to around 8 ft, with a height of under 5 ft and weighing between 175 – 385kg (385 – 850 lb)

The mountain zebra is somewhere between the other two species in size, and has vertical stripes on its neck and torso

There are 8 subspecies of zebra

Plains zebra subspecies include the maneless zebra, grant’s zebra, crawshay’s zebra, chapman’s zebra, burchell’s zebra, and selous’ zebra, which have different geographical distributions

Mountain zebras are divided into two subspecies

Both prefer mountainous regions in Angola, Namibia, and South Africa

There are no grévy’s zebra subspecies

The cape mountain zebra nearly went extinct

In 1930 there were as few as 100 cape mountain zebra, however thanks to conservation efforts their numbers have increased dramtically up towards 3,000

The quagga (Equus quagga quagga) was a subspecies of the plains zebra endemic to South Africa

They can be seen in art going back millennia, including in rock art from roughly 20,000 years ago

The grevy’s zebra wild population is as little as just 2,250 individuals

The grevy’s zebra is endangered according to the IUCN Redlist

Its population size was estimated to be around 15,000 in the 1970’s, and has declined to closer to 2,000 today

Historically poaching was the primary cause of their decline, with beautiful zebra skin fetching high prices across the globe

However, today their main threat is habitat loss, competition with livestock, disease and invasive species of plant endangering their food supply

Zebra Fact-File Summary







Species Names:

The grévy’s zebra (Equus grevyi)

Plains zebra (Equus quagga)

The mountain zebra (Equus zebra)

Zebra stripes, tabanid biting flies and the aperture effect

doi:101098/rspb20201521Villazon L

Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes?

A newly discovered wildlife migration in Namibia and Botswana is the longest in Africa

doi:101017/S0030605314000222Hrabar H, Kerley GIH

Conservation goals for the Cape mountain zebra Equus zebra zebra – Security in numbers?


If you’re wondering, “How much do zebras weigh?” you’re not alone

The weight of a zebra varies greatly depending on the species

The average weight of a zebra is between 770 and 990 pounds and the length of a zebra’s body varies from 36 to 48 feet

This article provides an overview of each species and how much they weigh

Zebras are small and agile animals that range in size from 4 to 5 feet in height and seven to nine feet in length

The largest zebra, the Grevy’s zebra, weighs from 770 to 990 pounds

As members of the horse family, zebras are highly energetic and can run up to 35 mph

Zebras can begin running within an hour of birth

Zebras can be seen day and night and can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour

These zebras live between 22 and 30 years in captivity, depending on the species and their environment

Because they are equids, zebras have excellent eyesight and hearing

They can run up to 35 miles per hour and use their powerful kicking technique to injure predators

Zebras live in herds, and the lead male of a herd will sound an alarm when he notices a potential threat

The females and young are protected by a stallion that will protect them

In captivity, zebras must be reintroduced to their native habitat in order to avoid extinction

Zebras live in herds of dozens or even hundreds of animals

During dry season, their herds will travel to seek water and food

This allows them to adapt to changing conditions by grazing and browsing, and they need less water than other zebras

Zebras are mammals that weigh between 36 and 48 feet

Their height and weight vary depending on the breed

The largest zebra is the Grevy’s, which stands from four to five feet high and weighs up to 990 pounds

They are relatively small, however, with a shoulder height between 36 and 48 feet

Zebras are members of the Equus family, which includes horses and donkeys

Zebras breed all year round, though mating season is highest between October and March

Zebras are also known as Dazzle, since they are often found alone

Zebras weigh three to four feet, which is an excellent weight range for a horse

Zebras are smaller than horses, standing between one and two meters at the withers

Zebras are a medium-sized animal, and weigh anywhere from 36 to 48 feet

Zebras are not usually pregnant, but female zebras may be carrying a foal while they’re nursing it

While the plains zebra is not endangered, the population has decreased in parts of Tanzania and Africa

It is not under immediate threat, but it does suffer from a decline in the northern populations due to conflicts and civil unrest

Some zebra populations have been decimated by heavy warthorn

Habitat loss and poaching are the main threats in both areas

A zebra is known to travel 1,800 miles from one end of its range to another

Zebras are one of the most fascinating animals on the planet

They measure 11 to 15 meters in length and range in overall height from five to seven feet

They also have a wide range in body weight from around 200 to 450 pounds

Zebras live an average of 25 years and weigh between 440 and 990 pounds

Zebras live in groups called ‘harems’

The females are not able to stand on their own before the males grow to maturity, and males do not lead a herd until they are at least six years old

They live in a semi-arid grassland habitat, and feed on dry grasses that other animals ignore

This allows zebras to survive during times of drought

Adult mountain zebras are two to three meters in height, with a tail length of 40 to 55 cm and shoulder height of 116 to 150 cm

Hartmann’s mountain zebras are slightly larger than other zebras

Males are typically two hundred and sixty kilograms, while stallions are about three hundred and forty pounds

Burchell’s zebra

Its name reflects its striking black and white coat and unique stripes

It stands about 45 to 55 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 485 and 550 pounds

Its largest species, the Burchell’s zebra, weighs 290 to 340 kilograms

The Burchell’s zebra’s habitat is open woodlands, treeless grasslands, and savannas

They are sometimes found in herds of tens of thousands on the Serengeti plains

The Grevy’s zebra, which is more closely related to the Burchell’s zebra, has been confined to northern Kenya

Its habitat is less dense, requiring less water than other zebra species

Burchell’s zebra is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN

Their striking stripes will captivate your senses

While most zebras are fond of people, there are also some that hunt them for their beautiful skin

Mountain zebra

Mountain zebras are herbivores that eat grass and other plant material

They can easily traverse the rocky mountain ranges

Their diets vary greatly depending on their environment and their daily activity level

Mountain zebras live at higher altitudes and migrate to lower regions during the winter

When compared to humans, mountain zebras weigh around 600 pounds

They live in dry, stony mountain regions of southwest Africa and breed every two to three years

They have a gestation period of 300-365 days and give birth to one foal a year

Their mother’s milk is an important source of nutrition for young zebras, and the animals nurse each other until the foal is about three to six years old

Zebras have a lifespan of approximately 25 years

Mountain zebras are considered vulnerable to extinction and are threatened by hunting throughout their range

In addition, mountain zebras are threatened by the development of agricultural areas and competition for resources with domestic livestock

Interbreeding is a major threat to the population of mountain zebras, and the species has been threatened by habitat loss and development

The species is protected in zoos and conservation organizations

Plain zebra

When they are born, plain zebras weigh about 55 pounds

Approximately every three to six years, the females give birth to a single foal

After conceiving, they weigh between 50 and 70 pounds

These foals stand up and walk almost immediately

Males are usually not dominant enough to defend a harem until they are six years old

Zebras are also vulnerable to the attacks of predators, such as lions and spotted hyenas

There are several subspecies of plain zebra

These include the Grevy zebra, which is found in eastern Africa and southern Ethiopia

The mountain zebra is much smaller, weighing less than half of a tonne

Both types of zebras are found in South Africa, Namibia, and Angola

The Grevy zebra is the largest zebra species, and may weigh up to 1,000 pounds

The range of the plains zebra reaches south of the Sahara, extending from the east coast of Africa through Mozambique to Lesotho

They live in treeless grasslands, savanna woodlands, and even tropical areas

Their range is much larger than other zebra species, which is why they are usually the first to appear in well-vegetated areas

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