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Plains/Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga) Stäppsebra | by Ratatusk
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Plains/Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga) Stäppsebra

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There are three living sub-species of Plains Zebra: the Grant's zebra, Chapman's zebra, and Burchell's zebra. Grant's zebras are the most abundant and widespread of any zebra species or sub-species.

 

Plains zebras live in eastern and southeastern Africa where there are only two seasons; wet and dry. Zebras rely on rainfall for food and water and thus have to go on great migrations to follow the rains. The zebras will migrate up to 700 miles for food. Other grazers also must do the same thing. Plains zebras can not survive very long without water and must be at least 25-30 kilometers from a water source.

 

Unlike many of the large ungulates of Africa, the Plains Zebra does not require (but still prefers) short grass to graze on. It eats a wide range of different grasses, preferring young, fresh growth where available, and also browses on leaves and shoots from time to time. In consequence, it ranges more widely than many other species, even into woodland, and it is often the first grazing species to appear in a well-vegetated area. A zebra's digestive system works quickly and can extract more protein from the fibrous and poorest plant parts. Thus zebra are less picky in foraging but they do spend much time eating. Only after zebras have cropped and trampled the long top grasses, which are low in protein, do the other grazers like Blue wildebeests and Thompson's gazelles move in to eat the newly exposed and more nutritional short grasses.

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Taken on October 28, 2007