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a group of species of mammals of the genus Equus of the order Perissodactyla. Length of body, 220–240 cm; length of tail, 47–57 cm; height at the withers, 120–140 cm; weight, up to 350 kg.
Zebras are characterized by distinctive body coloration consisting of alternating dark and light stripes (“disruptive” coloration). The mane is short and erect; the tail has a tuft of elongated hairs at the end. Three species are distinguished according to size, skull structure, and stripe pattern: mountain zebra (E. zebra), Grevy’s zebra (E. grevyi), and bontequagga (E. quagga). They are distributed in eastern, central, and southern Africa. Zebras are polygamous herd animals, usually found in herds of ten to 30 head. Earlier, when zebras were more numerous, herds of up to several hundred head were observed. They inhabit the broad open spaces of steppes. The mountain zebra is sometimes found in mountains at elevations up to 2,000 m. Zebras are very cautious, swift animals. They feed on herbaceous vegetation and migrate far according to seasonal variations in food conditions. Pregnancy lasts 346–390 days. Each litter contains one or two young. As a result of being hunted, zebras have been completely exterminated in many parts of their area of distribution, and in other areas they have become scarce. They endure captivity well and reproduce regularly, but they are not easily tamed. Zebras have been successfully acclimatized in the USSR in Askaniia-Nova.