There are several species of zebras, which can be distinguished by their stripe patterns (123Spot 1999). Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi) is larger than the plains zebra and has many more, narrower, black stripes. The Mountain zebra (Equus zebra) is smaller than the plains zebra. It has an unpatterned belly and a dewlap on its upper throat (Alden 1995). The plains zebra is the most common zebra, although one of its subspecies, the quagga (Equus quagga) is already extinct.
Zebras are equids, which means that they are medium-sized odd-toed ungulates. Their bodies are very well adapted for survival: long legs for quick and efficient movement; matched set of incisors for feeding on higher-fiber, tougher grasses; single stomach and hind-gut fermentation for quick digestion of high-fiber foods; hard hooves for long migrations (Moelhman 2003a).
image courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo
Plain zebras are found in eastern, southwestern, and southern Africa, with the largest populations in Tanzania and Kenya (Moelhman 2003a). Every rainy season, zebras lead a mass migration across the Serengeti. They travel through a variety of habitats, including Savannah, short grasslands, tall grasslands, and open woodland. They are dependent on water, and so must stay within 20 miles of water holes during the dry season (Estes 1991).