Zoology Science Paper on The Natural Habitat of Zebras

Zoology Science

The natural habitat of zebras is characterized by the presence of both predators and preys. Predators in such habitats include animals such as lions, coyotes, cougars, and wolves while in most cases zebras and other herbivores are considered as preys. Most herbivores are structurally and behaviorally adapted to their surroundings.

Some of the structural adaptations of zebras to their surrounding include their longs legs, their teeth, and their stripes. Zebras have strong teeth, which helps them to chew and grind thick grass and other plantations  (Melin, Kline, Hiramatsu, & Caro, 2016). They also use their teeth to bite predators that might hunt them to protect themselves.

Their stripes make it difficult for possible predators to pick them out from a large herd of zebras. While being chased by predators, their stripes blur their image reducing the likelihood of being seen by predators (Caro, 2016; Ransom & Kaczensky, 2016). These adaptations help zebras to survive in their surroundings. The image below shows two different types of zebra.

Source: (Melin, Kline, Hiramatsu, & Caro, 2016)

They have slender legs, which are also long to enable them to run very fast (approximately 64 kilometers per hour). This helps them to escape from possible predators. They are also flexible and have strong hooves, which allows them to kick predators with their long legs while running (Melin, Kline, Hiramatsu, & Caro, 2016; Martin, 2015). Behaviorally, zebras stay in herds, which reduces their likelihood of being attacked by predators. The herds also allow them to protect their young ones who are usually weak and unable to run as fast as the other zebras.

The structural and behavioral adaptations of zebras allow them to survive in the harsh wildlife environment where different predators target them. These adaptations have also prevented cases of zebra extinction in the wild.

 

 

References

Caro, T. (2016). Zebra Stripes. University of Chicago Press.

Martin, M. (2015). Zebras: Striped Wild Horses of Africa. CreateSPace Independent Publishing Platform.

Melin, A. D., Kline, D. W., Hiramatsu, C., & Caro, T. (2016). Zebra Stripes through the Eyes of Their Predators, Zebras, and Humans. PLOS ONE, 11(1), e0145679. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4723339/.

Ransom, J. I., & Kaczensky. (2016). Wild Equids: Ecology, Management, and Conservation. Johns Hopkins University Press.