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Grant’s Zebra

Fact File

Class: Mammal

Order:  Perissodactyla (odd toed ungulate)

Family: Equidae

Found: Africa

Conservation Status: Least Concern

low_concern_gauge

Diet: Herbivorous

HERBIVORE

Vital statistics:

Average weight: 294 kg (males are on average 10% heavier than females)

Average length:  2.3 metres long

Average height:  1.4 metres high

 

Life expectancy: Life span in the wild: 20 – 25 years

Life span in captivity up to: 40 years

Grant's Zebra

Habitat: The Grant’s Zebra inhabit grassland and savannah woodland.  Due to their efficient hindgut digestive
system they are capable of surviving in areas with coarse vegetation of little
nutritional value and can be found at elevations of 4,300 metres.

Threats: Grant’s Zebra are still a relatively common species and are classified as least concern.

Food: Are grazers and will feed almost entirely on coarse grass.

Range: The Grant’s zebra is a sub-species of Plains zebra. Plains zebra are the most numerous of all the zebra species and range from Northern Zimbabwe to the Sudan in East Africa.

 

Reproduction:  Average gestation: 378 days  Average Litter: 1

Grant’s Zebra breed throughout the year with a peak number of births occurring during the wet season.  Females in oestrus advertise readiness to breed through the adoption of a distinctive stance.  A single foal is produced which is capable of standing almost immediately and starts to eat grass within a week.  The foal is weaned at 7-11 months.  The young leave the herd voluntarily when aged between 1 and 3 years old. The males will then join bachelor groups until they are old enough to establish their own breeding group.

 

Characteristics:

  • Grant’s Zebra are the smallest of the 6 subspecies of the Plains Zebra.
  • They have bold contrasting stripes all the way to their hooves.
  • The pattern of their stripes is unique to each individual.
  • Various theories have been put forward to explain the function of Zebra stripes, including dazzling predators and temperature regulation but the most likely theory appears to be that they serve a social function for group bonding and grooming behaviour.
  • They live in herds of up to 17 animals, headed by a single stallion, with the females establishing a dominance hierarchy.
  • They are capable of reaching speeds of up to 40mph.
  • They are the only grazer to have both upper and lower incisors.  This allows them to snip the blades of grass rather than pulling it out.
  • Predators include: Lions, Hyenas and painted dogs.