Zebras For Kids

Zebra Facts

Zebras are really cool animals and they look pretty neat too with all those amazing stripes.

Here are our top facts about zebras which you probably won’t know until now! Enjoy.

Zebra Names

There are three main species of Zebras which are called Grevy’s, mountain and plains. The plains zebra is the most common and there are 6 subspecies of them, and there are 2 subspecies of the mountain zebra.

zebra facts

The subspecies of plains zebras are the Grant’s zebra, Half-maned zebra, Burchell’s zebra Damara zebra, Chapman’s zebra, Crawshay’s zebra and the Quagga zebra which is now extinct.

The subspecies of mountain zebras are the Cape Mountain Zebra and the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. They are a threatened species which means there aren’t all that many of them left. That’s not cool at all!

Super Speedy

Bet you didn’t know this. Zebras can run seriously fast. In fact, they can run up to 65 miles (105km) per hour. Now that is seriously fast. They can even outrun a lion! When a baby is born, called a foal just like a horse, they can run with the group within a couple of hours of being born. How cool is that?

zebras running

Keeping Cool

A zebra’s stripy coat is thought to get rid of more than 70% of incoming heat. This makes sure that they don’t overheat in the harsh African sun. That’s lucky for them!

Zebra Stripes

Now this is a seriously cool fact. Apparently a zebra’s stripes are there to help camouflage them in long grass and keep those nasty predators away.

But here’s the amazing part…recent research showed that their stripes may have evolved to keep biting insects away! Whoa, that’s unreal. Their pattern seems to confuse flies and other insects.

zebra stripes

No two zebras ever have the same 2 stripes. They are just like our fingerprints. Phew there must be loads of different patterns!

Guess how a foal recognizes its mother? Well from her stripes of course. That’s really awesome!

Zebra’s Social Lives

Yes, zebra’s do have social lives just like us, but they are different for each species.

Grevy zebras have quite an open social group, where they might or might not hang around together.

On the other hand, the plains and mountain zebras are very close indeed. They are always seen together in groups.

In these groups there will be a dominant male as well as up to 6 female zebras who are moms with their babies. Each female has a different place in the group, with some being more important than others.

zebras together in groups

The groups are so close, that if one of them gets injured by a predator, they will all stand around the wounded animal and try and scare off the predator with their teeth and hooves. That’s really cool.

Sleeping Zebras

Did you know that zebras sleep standing up? Do you think you would be able to fall asleep standing up? They’ll also only sleep when they are in the safety of a group.

Zebras in Groups

You’ll often find that zebras join other groups of animals like the wildebeest for safety in numbers. A large herd of animals is confusing to predators. How clever are they?

Zebras_and_Wildebeest

Amazing Migration

One of the coolest things to see in the natural world is the annual 1,800 mile (2,897km) migration of millions of zebra, blue wildebeest and other antelope between the Serengeti in Tanzania and Kenya’s Masai Mara in a constant search of food and water. Make sure you find a programme on TV that shows this, you’ll be amazed!

Ancient Zebras

This is rather strange! In Ancient Rome zebras were trained to pull chariots at circuses. They were called ‘hippo tigris’ which means ‘horse tiger’.

There are some awesome facts about zebras that can maybe help you with a school project or just to be super zebra smart!