What do zebras eat?
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Q:

What do zebras eat?

A:

Quick Answer

All three species of zebras are herbivorous and mostly eat grasses. Zebras also feed on shrubs, leaves, bark and herbs.

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Full Answer

All three species of zebra feature black and white stripes and live in Africa. The plains zebra and the mountain zebra resemble horses, while the Grevy's zebra is related to the ass.

Grevy's zebras live in semi-desert areas. Tough grasses form the bulk of this endangered zebra's diet. They also eat plenty of leaves, which can sometimes form up to 30 percent of their diet.

There are two types of mountain zebra: Cape mountain zebras, which were almost hunted into extinction in the early 20th century, and the Hartmann's mountain zebra. They both eat a few types of grass, ignoring others. Themeda triandra, Cymbopogon plurinodis and Setaria neglecta are a few varieties they prefer. During the summer months Cape mountain zebras, found only in South Africa, regularly visit mineral licks.

Plains zebras, or Burchell's zebras, are the most common zebra in Africa. They live throughout southeast Africa with some living as far north as Ethiopia and others as far south as South Africa. Plains zebras' diets consist almost entirely (90 percent) of short grasses like Themeda triandra, Cenchrus ciliaris and Cynodon dactylon. The rest of their diet is comprised of herbs, twigs and leaves.

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  • Q:

    Are zebras endangered?

    A:

    There are many different species of zebra, each with its own conservation status. As of 2014, The Grevy's zebra is the only member of the species that is considered to be endangered.

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  • Q:

    How long do zebras live?

    A:

    A zebra in the wild lives for about 25 to 30 years, while a zebra at a zoo can live for up to 40 years. Wild zebras must contend with predators such as humans, lions and hyenas. They also do not get services such as medical treatment that zoos provide.

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  • Q:

    What is a pack of zebras called?

    A:

    A pack of zebras is called a "harem." Plains and mountain zebras often form harems consisting of one stallion and up to six mares with their young that stick together for years. Grevy's zebras may form herds of up to 30 members for short periods of time.

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  • Q:

    How are zebras classified?

    A:

    Zebras are members of the horse family, Equidae, and of the genus Equus. Their nearest living relatives are horses and donkeys. More distant relatives in the order Perissodactyla include tapirs and rhinos.

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