Berchell's Zebra

Equus burchellii

Classification

Domain Eukaryota- This level contains organisms with no cell walls and no chloroplasts. They are multicellular organisms with a nucleus.

Kingdom Anamalia- All animals fit into the kingdom Anamalia. These animals are heterotrophs and they digest/ingest food. This kingdom does not include protists and prokaryotes.

Phylum Chorodata- These animals contain a full or complete digestive system and have bilateral symmetry. They also contain segmented muscles and have a closed off blood system.

Subphylum Vertebrata- These animals have paired kidneys, vertebrae running through the whole body and they depend on their muscles.

Class mammalia- Each of these animals have hair that has a color pattern or a sense of touch. Also, they have 3 middle ear bones that transmit vibrations throughout the body to the eardrums.

Order Perssodactyla- All of these animals middle toes are larger than the others and its symmetry passes through it. Also they have 44 large cheek teeth and dermal structures without boney cores, or any core.

Family Equids- In the Equids family, these animals most of the time have a thick skull and a stocky body. They have a lot of hair with a mane attached to their neck. they can be swift and fast runners and can sometimes walk on the tips of their toes.

Genus Equus- The animals that fit into this genus are asses (donkeys), horses and zebras.

Species Equus berchellii- The Berchell's zebra is the only zebra that fits into this species.

General Description

Height- From their shoulder their height is 42-62 inches. From the head to body their height is 75-102 inches.

Length- Their length is a range from 217cm to 246cm or 85.43 to 96.85. The tail is a length of 47 to 56cm.

Weight- The Burchellii's zebra weighs a range of 175kg to 385kg, or 385.46 to 848.02 lbs.

Color- They have black and white bold stripped patterns. Sometimes they have a faint brown, and a mains that are brown. Each individual stripe acts as a characteristic to the animal being a different shape. Their facial stripes order vertical and horizontal all the time.

Natural Range- Berchell's zebras are mostly found in small countries in Africa and all throughout southeast Africa.

Diet- Mainly eat grasses(tough grasses) and forbs but occasionally eat leaves and twigs. They also depend on a water source.

Habitat description- Zebras are mainly found in grasslands savannas and desserts.

Predators- Their predators are lions, spotted hyenas, and occasionally cheetahs.

Behavioral Adaptations

  1. Berchell's Zebras are social and it helps them so they can have relationships with a male or female.
  2. They use a certain number of calls (6) and facial expressions to talk and communicate if a predator is near or a peer is injured. Others use it to tell when someones in distress or whats on their way(journey).
  3. Just like humans, zebras can tell each other apart, by how they look and how they react to something. They can tell by how they act with their ears or with their main. They can talk by sniffing and smell too.
  4. Male zebras can fight with each other when they try to impress a female or another peer. They then kill the others young foals. They fight to show who is worthy enough.
  5. Many harems (zebra families) will come together to form groups or herds during migrating seasons. Female and male zebras will interact and impress the others by standing up tall or by making the other jealous.
  6. They can show how much they like one and other by welcoming each other with their ears.

Physical Adaptations

1) Zebra's black and white stripes make a natural sunscreen to them making them less noticeable to some animals.
2) Stripes help their herd know they are part of this herd so the zebra wont be in danger.
3) Zebras stripes can make them or a herd camouflage during the night. They can then blend into the darkness and that makes it hard for a predator to single out a certain zebra.
4) They have tough molars to grind teeth making it easier to eat certain foods when they are not in their normal habitat, so they can adapt to the different grasses.

5) Their molars are used for eating grass making their diet low in protein. They can then process more food helping their digestion.
6) They have strong limbs(or legs) helping it scare of predators and making a hard kick to hurt and scare of the predators.

7) Each individual stripe makes it hard for a predator to tell if they are their food or nearby vegetation.

8) Their stripes can also be a blur to predators making them dizzy helping the zebra not get attacked.

Resources

Burchell's zebra. (n.d.). Retrieved from encyclopedia of life website: http://eol.org/pages/328341/overview

Burton, M. (2002). Zebra. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., Vol. 21, pp. 3009-3011). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Colvin, L. and C. Nihranz 2009. "Equus burchellii" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 12, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Equus_burchellii/

Zebra. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2015, from National Geographic website: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/zebra/?source=A-to-Z