Zebras


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zebras

 

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He said while in Doha he promised the Emir that the Zebras were on their way to take part at the World Cup.
Mrs Cobb and her zoologist husband Stephen assessed zebras in their natural habitat for the first time to investigate the role of stripes in temperature control.
Zoo officials said the female zebra gave birth to a male foal on Thursday.
That's what a team of researchers led by WCS and WWF set out to discover -- whether the comeback of a top predator -- in this case lions in Laikipa County, Kenya -- were recovering at the expense of Grevy's zebras, which number only around 2,680 individuals with half of those living in Likipia.
The zebras at the Marah Land Zoo had died earlier that year due to starvation during the Israel-Hamas war.
Lalampaa, the rangelands manager with Grevy's Zebra Trust, says the Grevy's are unlike the normal zebras, and as such, they must be protected at all costs.
* One theory suggests that stripes, like human faces, are unique on a zebra. It can help zebras distinguish one of their kind from another.
Doug fears councils are dragging their heels when it comes to sprucing up remaining non-electric crossings for a reason - they want zebras purged from their high streets.
The researchers failed to find much of a link between woodsiness and stripe measures, negating the idea that dark and light stripes benefit zebras by letting them blend in with the dark-and-light patterns in thickets of branches.
Below is a graph showing the relationship between lion and zebra populations on a savanna in Africa.
Chester Zoo is part of a European breeding programme for the species which is the largest of all zebras and distinctive from its cousins given that it has the narrowest stripes.