Do you know what do zebras eat? Zebras are actually the member of horse family and are easily recognizable by their unmistakable physical appearance. These animals are considered to be highly sociable and they’re found in large groups. Despite its resemblance with the horse, they are not kept or raised domestically. Zebra is classified into three main species, namely: plains zebra, mountain zebra, and grevy’s zebra. The mountain and plains zebra are the members of subgenus Hippotigris whereas the grevy’s zebra belongs to the subgenus Dolichohippus.
What Do Zebras Eat?
Zebras are strictly terrestrial herbivores and they predominantly feed on shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves, several fallen fruit, aquatic vegetation, cultivated crops, roots, bark, but they prefer to eat green shoots. Even the diet of low-nutritional quality fulfills their dietary needs because of their adaptable digestive system.
There are stripes all over its body which are unique in ever specie. These animals inhabits in grasslands, woodlands, scrublands, mountain, coastal hills and savannas. Plains zebra and mountain zebra are considered to be endangered.
Gravy zebra is also known to reside in Ethiopia and northern Kenya. Hyenas and wild dogs are the most frequent predators of zebras. When these intruders arrive, zebras tend to huddle together while keeping foals in the middle and stallions do the rest.
Zebras typically feed in a zigzag manner. As they move they take quite a few leaves from a single plant. All zebras consume fibrous foods. They spend almost 60 – 80% of their day in feeding. Equids can survive three days without drinking but zebras need to drink water regularly.
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Many attempts have been made to make zebras suitable for riding purposes but most of them in vain. The unpredictability nature of zebras has unqualified them for riding rationale.
They tend to take extra stress in certain situations. Apart from an excellent hearing sense zebras have exceptional eyesight. Since they are affixed at the side of the head, it gives a wider view. They are also capable to see at night.
What Do Plains Zebras Eat | What Do Zebras Eat?
Zebras for the most part rely on grass which constitutes 92% of the whole diet; herbs 5%; and shrubs 2%. Plains zebras are also known browse through the African grass which is not common behavior in other large ungulates of Africa.
These zebras primarily feed on shoots and leaves from time to time. They can be readily found grazing in woodlands and are considered to be the first species to emerge in a well-vegetated area.
Zebras have a simple stomach which enables them to digest large amounts of grass in a 24-hour period.This implies that zebras are less selective in foraging but most of the time they spent on eating. Zebras never stray far from water.
They are also found to dig up roots with their hooves when leaves and shoots are not easily available. Unlike mountain zebras, zebras always require water every day. Mountain zebras can live up to three days without drinking water.
With their powerful teeth, zebras can even tear off the grass-tops very easily which are too tough for other grazing animals. They are known to spend 18 hours in eating; while the rest of the time they try to avoid from potential predators like hyena, leopards, and lions.
Mountain zebras are highly selective in their diet e.g. more leaf than stalk. But they also rely on grasses rich in fiber as the forage quality decreases. Zebras seem to feed more on senescent grasses. They will also consume browse when grass is scarce.
Have you ever imagined a Zebra as your pet? Do you think they can kept as horses? Share your thoughts below.