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Location, Habitat and Diet

Plains zebras are located in southern and eastern African countries such as Namibia, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. Plains zebras will inhabit savannas and open woodland and forest areas. Plains zebras' diets consist of a variety of long and short grasses, and plains zebras will also eat leaves and other vegetation at times.

Size and Description

Adult plains zebras stand between 4 - 4.75 feet at the shoulder and their average weight is between 450 - 600 lbs. The stripes of zebras differ between species. The stripes of plains zebra typically form a Y shape in the midsection or saddle of the zebra. Between the dark, solid stripes are shadow stripes. The mane of plains zebras begins on the forehead between eye level and the ears, and runs to the end of the neck. The eyes of zebras are on the sides of the head to assist them in seeing predators in multiple directions.


The pregnancy period of female plains zebras lasts approximately one year; after birth the foal will nurse for another year. A female zebra, or mare, will most often give birth to only one infant at a time.


The most noticeable adaptation of plains zebras is its stripes. The stripes of the zebra may help to visually confuse its predators, mainly lions. There are other theories of why zebras have stripes; one being that the stripes may help regulate the body temperature of the zebra.

Special Facts

Plains zebras face several threats including predators, poaching and habitat loss due to human activity. Watering holes and rivers are especially dangerous for the zebra due to the threat of lions, hyenas, crocodiles and other predators.

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    Kingdom: Phylum: Order: Class: Family: Genus: Species: Animalia Chordata Mammalia Perissodactyla Equidae Equus burchelli
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