Plains Zebras of Masai Mara

Zebras are several species of African equids (horse family) united by their distinctive black-and-white striped coats. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds.  There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the mountain zebra, and the Grévy’s zebra.  The unique stripes of zebras make them one of the animals most familiar to people. At Mara, we ran mostly into Plains zebras, which are comparatively much more plentiful

The name Zebra is derived from the Italian and Portuguese names given to the species in Zaire. It evolved from an early horse line that dates all the way back 60 million years, but the Zebra only emerged in the early Pleistocene 2 million years ago.

Equipped to deal with long grass and short flush, the Zebra is often the pioneer in front of the antelopes, as in the case of its association with the wildebeest in the migration (called the grazing succession).  After wildebeest, zebras are the most numerous in the annual migration and can be found throughout the Masai Mara, although being water dependent animals they are never too far from water. Their longevity is more than 20 years

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