1 September 2017
Some Dazzling Facts

1. A group of zebras is called a ‘dazzle' or ‘zeal’. This family group, or harem as it is known, is led by one male, the stallion, and he has a number of females who will follow his lead.

2. Zebras have a rather severe kick and a nasty bite, often using these two forms of attack to protect themselves from predators.

3. They do not lie down to sleep, but rather will take cat naps while standing up in the safety of the harem.

4. Often zebras will come together with other herbivores such as wildebeest and impala as means of protection, more eyes to see and ears to hear any approaching predators.

5. Every zebra has a unique stripe pattern, exactly like fingerprints or snowflakes. Young zebra foals recognize their mothers by their individual stripe pattern as well as their smell.

6. Zebras are mostly covered with a white fur which then has black or brown stripes overlaid onto this coat. However, their skin underneath is actually black!

7. This unusual stripy coat not only acts as a natural air conditioner, dispersing 70% of the incoming heat, but the stripes also act as an effective insect repellant. It keeps horseflies and other blood sucking insects away. Seemingly the monochrome pattern confuses the flies visual system.

8. Even though zebras look large and bulky, they can reach speeds of up to 60 km per hour which is fast enough to outrun lions. Foals are able to keep up with the herd in a matter of hours after birth.

9. In Ancient Rome, zebras were used in the circuses to pull chariots, they were referred to as ‘hippotigris’, ‘horse-tigers’.

10. Zebras in East Africa make an annual 3 000km journey between the Serngeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya in search of water and food, this is considered to be one of the most extraordinary events in the natural world.

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