Z is for Zebras
Oh zebras why do I love thee?
I love your stripes
Your unique designs
I love your beauty
You're just devine!
By Jenny Woolsey
This month's blog is not a serious one. I chose zebras because they are my favourite animal. Why? I don't actually know. I'm not into horses at all. I tried riding one when I was in university and fell off whacking my head, and haven't been back on one since. I had gone out to Roma to a friend's property. I had to ride bareback and going down an incline I toppled off. But give me a zoo where there are zebras, I will sit and watch them for as long as my family allows. If there's an African documentary on TV featuring zebras, I will watch it. If I see pictures or ornaments out and about I will stop and examine them. I have photos of zebras up in my loungeroom. My friend's husband who was a photographer gave us a black and white framed photo of zebras for our wedding present. I have a stuffed animal collection of zebras. I nearly bought a large zebra at Bunnings the other day, but refrained as I had nowhere to put it.
If I ponder my interest, I would have to say it has to do with their stripes. I do love their unique designs - no two zebras are the same. There are different colours also between zebras. They are not all black and white. Zebras all look the same from the outset but when you study them they are not the same. Is that like humanity in some ways? If you stare at a group of people all the same skin colour and hair colour, they may look the same from the outset but when you study them intently or talk to them, you will soon find out they are different.
I found this poem which I thought was really cute. It asks the question - something I have pondered at times - is the zebra black with white stripes, or white with black stripes???
Some interesting facts about zebras:
- Zebras are single-hoofed animals, closely related to horses and donkeys.
- They are generally thought to have white coats with black or brown stripe. They have black skin under their white coats
- There are three types of zebras: 1) Plains 2) Mountains 3) Grevy's zebra.
- Though they all live in Africa, each species of zebra has its own home area. Plains zebras live in the treeless grasslands and woodlands of eastern and southern Africa. The Grevy's zebra lives in the arid grasslands of Ethiopia and northern Kenya. The mountain zebra is found in South Africa, Namibia and Angola.
- It is believed that the zebra's stripes work like camouflage, according to the National Geographic. When zebras stand together, it is harder for predators to determine how many zebras are in the group. The stripes may also make the zebra appear unattractive to smaller predators, such as bloodsucking horseflies, which can spread disease. In addition, the stripes may work as a natural sunscreen.
- Zebras have several ways they communicate with one another. Facial expressions, such as wide-open eyes or bared teeth, all mean something. They also bark, bray, snort or huff to get their point across. Even the position of their ears can signal their feelings, according to the San Diego Zoo. For example, ears flattened back means trouble. Another habit of zebras is mutual grooming, which they do to strengthen their bonds with each other.
- Known predators of zebras include lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. When danger approaches, the stallion will alert the others with a high-pitched snort, according to the University of Michigan. He will stand his ground while the rest of the family runs away in zigzag fashion. If he must fight, he will lower his head with neck outstretched and teeth bared, prepared to bite. However, running away is the usual tactic, sometimes accompanied by a defensive kick. The kick can be powerful, though, and can cause serious injury to a predator.
- The Grevy's zebra is endangered.
Do you have a favourite animal? Why do you like it? Tell me below.