Talk:Zebra/Archive 1

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Quality Standards

Please ensure your edits do not break the page. I feel the page may also need to be reviewed to move some sentences into more appropriate sections. Lossy 16:49, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Legality of "natural zebra hides"

Are all Zebra species endangered or only some? Because I notice some businesses advertised on google claim to sell "natural zebra hide" products. Just curious if this means some are not endandered (or the companies are full of crap in their advertising), or if something illegal is going on that should be reported...

Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) and the Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra zebra) are both listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Appendix I is for the most endangered species. For Appendix I species, CITES prohibits trade in specimens (such as skins) for commercial purposes.
The Hartmann's Zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae) is listed under Appendix II, which is for species "not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled." These species require an export permit and the authority giving the permit is supposed to ensure that the permits do not cause the species' survival to be threatened.
Plains zebra (Equus burchelli) are not endangered and hence not listed under CITES. But they are only legal to hunt in some countries.
The short answer is, it depends on what species the skin comes from. If it looks like it is a plains zebra, then there is a good chance it's legal. If the skin looks like any other species of zebra, there is a good chance it's illegal.
You can look up species on the CITES website.Fischhoff (talk) 00:25, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

The way to tell a male from a female


l,It is only YOUR OPINION the way to tell a male from a female is a bad . Perhaps you should not be so dictatorial, overbearing and arrogant to think that someone else might have another opinion.

Lighten up :-))!

Color of the Stripes

This is a Question Answer!!! Maybe this is silly, but what color are the stripes? Is the Zebra purple with yellow stripes or yellow with purple stripes. Surely there must be a dominant color for the zebra and the other is the stripe?

It is said that the skin of the zebra is white, however hairs are black where they make white straps. Therefore the answer is zebra is black with white straps. Further, these straps are unique for each zebra like our finger prints. (PK 06:34, 4 June 2006 (UTC))

A new born zera can walk about an hour after birth.

All of these make sense, but why does the article say Zebras are white with black stripes? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:00, 9 May 2007 (UTC).

Exactly, the article says white with black stripes but its supporting text (number 1) says the exact opposite, I would support changing the text to black with white stripes.

Ah, the eternal question! Actually, neither is really correct... zebras are simply striped all over (Horses with dark skin are not "black" regardless of their coat color either...). If you consider the Quagga you'll find that the original color is brown.
Thus, technically, zebras are brown with white-black-white stripes, but the brown background color has - in the living zebras - usually been entirely replaced with a pattern of broader and ever broader stripes. The "typical" Burchell's Zebra (see for example here) are specimens where the stripes are less wide, and some of the original background color is still visible. Dysmorodrepanis 18:05, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
The claim in the footnote "zebras are normally black animals" is... well, provide me an evolutionary scenario that's plausible and I'm gonna believe it. Pattern anomalies in living zebras are no proof of anything save the fact that it's harder to produce no melanin at all than to produce a visible amount of it - a black panther does not mean that leopards are black with tan pattern! A brown horse evolving into a black one and then getting white stripes, and all this on the African savanna is the evolutionary equivalent of the Green Party candidate getting elected to PotUS in 2008: won't happen. If the lions don't get a black horse on the savanna, the heatstoke will.
Even Gould could be mistaken by the fallacy that a two-color pattern has to mean a background color and a pattern color, and not a two-color pattern entirely covering the background. No doubt this would have amused him very much. But think of tortoiseshell cats. Same phenomenon: the concept of "background color" vs "pattern color" does not apply in the first place - the pattern has entirely taken over. Dysmorodrepanis 18:30, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

"(...) the lion, which is color blind." - this needs some citations. there is nothing about color-blindness of lions in "lions" article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Riding a zebra

Can zebra ever be trained to be ridden? Why is that one never sees it?


Xah P0lyglut 10:10, 2003 Nov 29 (UTC)

Zebras do not have a suitable temprment. The can be tamed and seem broken to the task, but then suddenly attack with teeth or hooves, utterly without warning. Tannin

Irrelevant passage

Removed irrelevant passage, not sure if user was a vandal or just confused:

"Those who have travelled in South Africa and spent some of their time in the province of KwaZulu/Natal, might have been fortunate enough to have seen something of the colourful beadwork for which the Zulu in that part of the country are well known. Decorative beadwork is sold at many outlets in the region and in major centres throughout the countery, where some of these beaded trinkets have been offered to souvenir huners as "Zulu love letters". To appreciate the true significance of traditional Zulu beadwork, however, one has to understand how effectively the Zulu have integrated social values into their arts and crafts. Traditional colours, colour combinations and patterns are still found in modern Zulu beadwork but the real eloquence is rapidly subsiding under the pressures of urbanization and culture change"

Sayeth 14:11, Sep 6, 2004 (UTC)


There is no errors

Alisha march 5th 2007


At the moment, there are a lot of pictures. The flow of the text is disrupted. Can we choose? JFW | T@lk 10:54, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, too many perhaps but instead of choosing I've moved one up and to the left: it works for me. Jimp 04:50, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

How the zebra got its stripes

Surprising how little input there's been into this article, as the subject of how the Zebra got his stripes is quite an interesting one. The theory put forward here (and it is only a theory, one among many) is a weak one and not widely supported:

"The stripes have a cooling effect due to convection currents."

I'm not an expert in this field, but if black and white stripes had any significant cooling properties, humans would be using them in industry all over the place. Other theories (also weak, but worth mentioning) are: camouflage (long grass); creating a blur of stripes to confuse lions while running, making it harder to judge their leap; and having a similarly optically confusing effect as seen from a distance, distorted by heat currents. A newer and much more interesting theory (all others are pure guesswork and don't stand up to scientific scrutiny) is that of protection from the Tsetse fly. Simple experiments have proved that, for whatever reason, this fly is repelled by black-and-white stripes, particularly horizontal ones (hence the horizontal stripes on the zebra's behind). I'd appreciate it if someone with specialist knowledge could elaborate on this and incorporate it into the article. Thanks. Palefire

User:Palefire's mention of the stripes putting off tsetse flies intrigued me, and so I had a quick hunt through Google. I have not tried the more specialist catalogues. But in date order, here's what I found:
  • The development of zebra striping patterns: article from DevBio, a site which supplements Developmental Biology by Scott F Gilbert, lists several theories. Waage is the "to confuse tsetses" one.
    • Waage, J. K. 1981. How the zebra got its stripes: biting flies as selective agents in the evolution of zebra coloration. J. Entom. Soc. South Afric. 44: 351-358.
  • New Life For A Vanished Zebra?:article about quagga-breeding mentions off-handedly that while entomologist Gabriella Gibson says a tsetse is 53 times more likely to land on a black target than on a stripy one, "zebras are largely immune to tsetses, so why evolve an elaborate fly screen"? No further information about Gibson though.
  • Some document repository (sorry :)) cites this promising-sounding article:
    • Ruxton, G.D., 2002. The possible fitness benefits of striped coat coloration for zebra. Mammal Review, 32 (4): 237-244. ..which has an abstract listing four general theories, suggesting that the tsetse tests are inconclusive, and reappraising the camouflage one.
So someone with a university library can hunt these down.
Telsa 16:52, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Zebra with spots - very interesting picture here - Rooivalk 19:42, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
Some document repository mentioned above would be hosted by the quite respectable organisation called... the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations!

I have always read that it is to break up a herd. With all the stripes it is harder for a predator to spot an individual against a bunch of stripes when they are crowded together.

To my knowledge there has only been one field study. Though there has been preliminary studies on Tsetse fly and thermo regulation. The only field study I am aware of was done I believe in the early 70's. Wild zebra were actually repainted. It is absurd to think that the black and white aids the zebra in hiding in tall grass since contrary to popular myth lions are NOT colorblind. They see colors differently than we do but they do see colors. However stripes do help the zebra hide in the herd. The animal blends in with other members and makes it hard for the predator to separate an individual. In addition the horizontal striping on the legs makes it hard to judge the location of the leg. All this is clearly shown in the higher predation rate of the following groups 1. zebras painted all white, 2. zebras painted all black, 3. zebra with legs painted white, 4. zebra legs painted black, and 5. zebra with legs repainted with vertical stripes.

As I said this is the only field study I am aware of. By field study I mean specifically study conducted in the wild.

Though other theories are in effect not mutually exclusive to this theory the primary function of the striping does seem to be for anti predation.

Jeffrey L. Sadler MNS Biology Adjunct Instructor of biology Drury University —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:47, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Crossbreed aka zebra hybrid

removed section on crossbreeds for now, as both removals (quote: 'this is retarted') and the previously existing text (no references) were not ideal. However there are some references to be found on Zebra Hybrids, e.g. BBC and elsewhere. If there is solid text on circumstances and cases, with references, we might consider recreating a Zebra hybrid section.Santaduck 20:38, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I say it's fine without. There's already an article on Zebroids.



A lot of famous animals have extensive articles on Wikipedia. Maybe the Zebra article could be expanded?

Taxobox pic

I replaced the picture in the taxobox with one that I felt was clearly better that I took. The resolution was much higher, the picture quality was excellent, and the zebra's face took up more of the picture, thus making better use of our pixel real estate. I stated as much as when I was doing so. The photographer of the original picture objected and reverted (not only the picture change but also the content addition -- sloppy revert), without justifying why they felt that their lower-res, more zoomed out picture was better.

As such, I've brought it to discussion. Which photo is better?

A) Zebra 2.jpg B) Zebra face.jpg

I'll also add that my pic uses a wide aperture so as to blur the background and sharpen the foreground, thus preventing the background from drawing your eyes. -- Rei 18:46, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Apologies about the excessive revert. The main reason I like mine better is that your chops off the zebra's nose, and leaves the shape of its head indistinct. I think mine's better framed (missed the tips of the ears, though; dang!), and has a clearer demarcation between its face and body. Lunkwill 18:02, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Lunkwill's picture is better. Rei's image zooms in too close, cutting off too much of the subject - this flaw is especially in the reduced image in the taxbox, which looks less like a zebra, more like a mess of stripes. So I would support reverting back. Nevertheless, I do accept Rei's point about higher resolution being preferable, and given that the background in Lunkwill's picture doesn't look like a Zebra's natural habitat (correct me if I'm wrong), a wider aperture would have helped draw attention away from that. Although of course that can be easily fixed in Photoshop. Palefire 14:49, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm not trying to be aggressive, but given that the vote is 2-1 after about a week, I wanted to switch the image back before I forgot about it. If you still feel strongly about it, I think there are several standard options for peer review that might bring in more outside opinions than just the three we've expressed here. Best wishes, Lunkwill 19:12, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
It's been ages since this discussion, but since I just checked in, I'll add that I clearly respect even a 2:1 vote. And, as someone recently removed your pic for one that clearly wasn't as good as easier of ours, I restored yours, not mine, to the taxobox. Cheers! -- Rei 18:02, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

ambiguity in text

"During the course of a day the plains zebra can walk around forty kilometres (from its herd, and back again in the evening)."

I assume this means a plains zebra can walk 80km a day? -- 10:44, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Equus hartmannae & Equus zebra

Mountain Zebra pretty clearly states that the current scholarship on the Mountain Zebra puts E. hartmannae & E. zebra are two seperate species. This is per Groves & Bell, 2004. I don't want to start some kind of reversion scandal over zebras, but it seems pretty clear to me that they should be seperately delineated in the taxobox. --mordicai. 20:46, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Number of chromosomes?

In the wild horse article it is mentioned that the Przewalski horse has 66 chromosomes whereas the domesticated horse has 64. Does anyone know how many chromosomes the zebra has? I recall to have read that the zebra also has 66 chromosomes. If so it raises some quite interesting questions about the relations within the family Equidae. The question being: Is the 64 chromosomes of the modern horse a recent (within the domestication period) change or had the old wild horses of Europe also 64 chromosomes. If so wouldn't the Przewalski horse be more likely to be a close relative to the zebras, and indeed be considered one, than to the horses?

This could of course be decided by comparison of the genetic code from some different spices of zebras, the domesticated horse and Przewalski's horse. If anyone has seen anything about such a comparison it would be interesting to know.

And yes, I do know that the zebras are quite a genetically diverse group, a fact that really only makes the above questions more interesting, it even raises a new one: must a zebra be striped to be considered one?

Anders Kristoffersson 19:09, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

E. burchelli had 44 chromosomes. Grevy's zebra has 46 and the mountain Zebra has 32. These are the 2n numbers...not 64. Horses have 64 donkeys 62.

Jeffrey L. Sadler MNS Biology Adjunct Professor, Drury University. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 31 December 2009 (UTC)


zeb-ra or zee-bra? someone else add it because i don' t know how to use ipa Eng101 03:20, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

  • I've heard both pronunciations, and I'm pretty sure that either is acceptable (I'm from Eastern Canada and I say ZEE-bra, FYI). I can sort of do IPA (with difficulty), and I'll try to add it. --Pharaoh Hound (talk) (The Game) 12:08, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

"In popular culture"

I have removed the section on "Zebras in popular culture" yet again. Articles "in popular culture" have been the frequent subject of AFD discussions, and most users believe that they generally do not belong in an article about a serious topic. Can we reach an agreement that the trivia section added previously to this article shall not be reinstated? Shalom Hello 17:34, 30 July 2007 (UTC) i like to eat cheese —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

do zebra foals learn to identify their mothers by looking at their stripes?

I have recently heard from a game ranger in the Eastern Cape, South Africa that zebra newborns spend days focussed on their mother's stripes so as to be able to identify them. Is there science in this or only a good story? liz in Johannesburg —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:32, August 30, 2007 (UTC)


FIRST we're told that :

Zebras are white with black stripes and their bellies have a large white blotch for camouflage purposes.

This sentence is immediatedly followed by this statement:

The reasons is it believed that zebras are black with white stripes are: (1) white equids would not survive well in the African plains or forests; (2) The quagga, an extinct zebra species, had the zebra striping pattern in the front of the animal, but had a dark rump; (3) when the region between the pigmented bands becomes too wide, secondary stripes emerge, as if suppression was weakening. The fact that zebras have white bellies is not very strong evidence for a white background, since many animals of different colors have white or light colored bellies. [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Arthurian Legend (talkcontribs) 16:37, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


is it white on black or black on white?

The truth is that its WHITE WITH BLACK STRIPES because I said so and there's nothing you can do about it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Three zebra species

I just changed the pages to where it lists only three zebra species due to the info on the Mountain zebra page that disputes that there are two mountain zebra species. Any objections? Bobisbob (talk) 18:18, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately it is up to the individual biologist to determine their exact criteria for a species. You may talk to one biologist who considers there to be one species and the next may tell you there are two. Who is correct? That depends on you exact definition of species. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:02, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Huh? again

Zebras are mutant horses?? I don't think that this belongs there. (talk) 23:10, 22 December 2007 (UTC)


In the picture that says its of a zebra trotting the zebra is actually walking so I am changing it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Etymology of the word Zebra

I think this would be very important to include. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:45, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I have two objections to the current content of this ethymology section:

a) So, is there really an Oxford English Dictionary that states that the portuguese word "zebra" comes from the Congolese? That is trully amazing! The OED did such a profound study that it contradicts all portuguese and spanish dictionaries. b) The portuguese word zevro(a)/zebro(a) or spanish cebro(a)/encebro(a)/zebro(a) have been traced to medieval texts where they are applied to a species of wild worse with stripes that existed in the iberian peninsula and which became extinct around century XVI (it may have existed in a wider area than the iberian peninsula). The name persists in toponyms such as the Zebro river (Tagus basin) in Portugal and Valdencebro (Teruel), Cebreros (Ávila), Encebras (Alicante), Las Encebras (Murcia) all in Spain. The ethymology of the _medieval word_ is not known but it could hardly be congolese.

A portuguese agronomer, Dr. Ruy d'Andrade, has studied the medieval texts about the extinct species, described how the "zebra" word came to be applied to the african equidean (in the Congo region, BTW, OED believed only this half of it), discredited the traditional belief (of linguists) that zebro was a wild ass (onager), and speculated that the modern wild horse of the Zebro/Sorraia rivers was a descendant of that animal.

Whether his theses are taken as true or not, there can be no doubt that the oldest ethymological roots are the medieval portuguese and spanish words zevro/zebro/cebro/encebro. The speculation that encebro comes from the latin equiferus, although widespread, is very far-fetched, as anyone that studied linguistics will know.

References in portuguese and french: Andrade, R. d’ (1926). Apontamentos para um estudo sobre a origem e domesticação do cavalo na Península Ibérica. Aproximações. Centro Tipográfico Colonial, Lisboa, 30pp. Andrade, R. d’ (1937). Les chevaux du Sorraia. Comptes Rendues du XII Congrès International de Zoologie, Lisboa (1935):2368-2370. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Migle2 (talkcontribs) 22:17, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Are zebras black with white stripes or white with black stripes?

Zebras are black with white stripes (if you don't believe me go look at a zebras ass, take a look at its tail and at the end of its tail its white I am wrong but if its black I am right which I am because I've studied). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:10, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

A Zebra's Comfortable Distance

Lions like to hunt zebras, right? Well, zebras have a 'comfort zone'. If a lion or any other predator comes within about 80m of a zebra, the zebra gets uncomfortable and moves away, making zebras hard to kill. All the hunters in a pack are needed to bring down a zebra, especially as one lucky kick could kill an animal, because it wouldn't be able to feed and would starve to death. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Lions only hunt zebras sick, old, aged, injured, young, pregnant females, zebras healthy too fast and powerful to get caught by lions ... A zebra healthy can run very fast to 80 km/h (50 mph) [1] peak and over a longer distance than lions, kicks are sometimes fatal (more powerful than the horse!), it has a very good view and hearing fine scratches and create confusion among lions perspective, they are well equipped to deal with predators, besides the common zebra population is 650.00 individuals, if it is down because of human hunters, not because lions!--Angel310 (talk) 06:12, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Confusing language regarding stripes

The third reason why people think zebras are black with white stripes states, "When the region between the pigmented bands becomes too wide, secondary stripes emerge, as if suppression was weakening." However, it is easier to understand as: "When the white areas become too wide, a black stripe emerges in the section, as if suppression of the dark skin underneath the white stripe was weakening." (talk) 02:43, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Help please

It's a long story but I can't get into my account. I created a new one but that was days ago and i still can't edit.

So would someone please put this in the "Human interections" section. Thank you.

Cultural depictions

File:Botswana coa.png
Zebras on the Botswana coat of arms

Zebras have been subjects of African folk tales some of which explain how they got their stripes. According to a Bushman folk tale of Namibia, the zebra was once all white but got its black stripes after a fight with a baboon over a waterhole.[1] After kicking the baboon so hard the zebra lost his balance and tripped over a fire and the fire sticks left scorches mark all over this white coat. The tale also explains why the baboon has bald patches. In other cultural depictions, certain centaurs (notably in Fantasia) are depicted being half human, half zebra instead of half horse.

Zebra are also depicted in art as well. The fourth Mughal emperor Jahangir (r.1605-27), commissioned a painting of the zebra. In this painting executed by Ustad Mansur, the zebra is shown with stirrups. Zebra stripes are also a popular style for furniture, carpets and fashion.

When in movies and cartoons zebras are most often miscellaneous characters but have had some staring roles, notably in Madagascar and Racing Stripes. Zebras are also serve as mascots and symbols for products and corporations, notably Zebra Technologies and Fruit Stripe gum. Zebras are featured on the coat of arms of Botswana. More recently, two of the new Pokemon that were released in Generation V, Blitzle and Zebstrika, are based on zebras. (talk) 20:44, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Done, Please consider removing the Request for unprotection, cheers Theterribletwins1111 (talk) 09:04, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
To edit a semiprotected page like this one your account needs to have at least 10 edits. If you place {{editsemiprotected}} at the top of the request it will put the request in a category for other editors to review. Hut 8.5 15:24, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't think the section on domestication is correct. There's a difference between taming, which has been managed, and domestication which has not. (talk) 15:50, 13 November 2008 (UTC) HI


It's write : Nevertheless, DNA and molecular data show that zebras do indeed have monophyletic origins. ??? Who say that ? Vincnet (talk) 20:30, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Common size

The picture of Rothschild on his carriage seems to suggest that "his" zebras stood anywhere between 10 to 14 hands. What sizes are found of zebras in the wild? knoodelhed (talk) 19:12, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

why their hunted?

they are hunted for their unigue pattern of stripes and no other animal has the same! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Lost and Found: a happy ending;

This story is from a filmed documentary. In a wild area of Africa, a very young zebra, small yet agile, fell over in a puddle of mud. It extricated itself from the puddle just fine, BUT it emerged covered from the tip of its ears and nose to the tips of its tail and feet with a tan/light brown colored coating of mud! The babies' stripes being invisible, and it would seem that its natural identifying odors were masked by the coating of mud, it was both ignored and forcibly rejected by its family herd. The days grew longer and hotter and it continued to look more and more bleak for the small juvenile. Just as hope seemed to be running out, it began to rain! Its coating of mud was removed, its stripes (and odor) reappeared, and it somehow (vocal sounds) found and was reunited with its herd! ~ Q. Would this be better merged with the main page? ~Betaclamp (talk) 23:23, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes

This article is one of a small number (about 100) selected for the first week of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

However with only a few hours to go, comments have only been made on two of the pages.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially.

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 20:53, 15 June 2010 (UTC).

Shadow stripes??

There is great confusion as to which species of Zebra have shadow stripes and which do not. Mountain Zebra do not. Plains Zebra generally do, but in some subspecies (or individuals?) they are barely visible. See photo "Zebras in Tanzania". This needs mention and clarificaton (or additional research). S. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:46, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

File:Zebra portrait.jpg to appear as POTD soon

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Zebra portrait.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on December 27, 2010. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2010-12-27. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 20:32, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Zebra portrait
A portrait of a Plains Zebra (Equus quagga), the most common and widespread species of zebra. The unique stripes and behaviors of zebras make these among the animals most familiar to people. They can be found in a variety of habitats throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The name "zebra" comes from the Old Portuguese word zevra which means "wild ass". Zebra stripes are typically vertical on the head, neck, forequarters, and main body, with horizontal stripes at the rear and on the legs of the animal. It was previously believed that zebras were white animals with black stripes. Embryological evidence, however, shows that the animal's background color is black and the white stripes are additions.Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim