WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A ZEBRA AND A HORSE?

 

Lets face it, a zebra looks like a sturdy, stripy horse, but common sense says there must be more to it than that. Why? Because modern horses are believed to have originated around south-eastern Europe, while zebras are clearly from Africa.

So, what are the differences between horses and zebras?

Lets start with a few rough facts. The scientific name of a horse is Equus ferus caballus. It is a hoofed mammal and a sub-specie of the seven extant species of the Equidae family. Over the past 45 to 55 million years the horse has developed from a small multi toed creature to a large one toed animal. The domestication of horses started around 4000 BC.

The word ‘zebra’ is derived from an Old Portuguese term zevra which means wild ass. Zebras are famous for their white and black stripes, and each of their patterns and shapes are unique to the individual. They are social animals and are found in large herds or small harems. Also, they have never been domesticated.

Three species of zebras are in existence today, the Plains Zebra, the Mountain Zebra and the Grevy’s Zebra. The Plains Zebra and the Mountain Zebra belongs to the subgenus Hippotigris while Grevy’s Zebra belong to the Dolichohippus species. This is similar to an ass while Plains and Mountain Zebras are quite close to horses.

Zebras don't have a hairy tail like a horse does and their mane always sticks straight up. Also, the grevvy's zebra is a little different because they've got a Roman nose, and very large ears (not horse like at all). Also, the structure of a zebra is much more pony-like being half leg and half body in height. Most horses are longer in the leg than they are in body.

Zebras are found in a variety of locations like savannahs, grasslands, woodlands, mountains, hills and scrub lands. Certain anthropogenic factors have affected the population of zebras. Hunting zebras for skins and destroying lands have affected zebra population. The Grevy’s and Mountains Zebra are considered as endangered species.

Apart form the size, shape and stripes, there are a number of distinguishing features between a horses and zebras.

1. The bone structure of both the animals is different. Zebras possess solid tails unlike a horses.

2. The anatomy of a horse makes them use speed to run away from predators. They have a well developed sense of balance, and a powerful fight or flight attitude inside them. Like horses, zebras walk, trot, canter and gallop. They are generally slower than horses, but their great stamina helps them outpace predators. When chased, a zebra will zig-zag from side to side, making it more difficult for the predator. When cornered, the zebra will rear up and kick or bite its attacker.

3. Zebras have excellent eyesight. It is believed that they can see in colour. Zebras also have night vision, although not as advanced as that of most of their predators.

4. Zebras have excellent hearing, and tend to have larger, rounder ears than horses. Like horses and other ungulates, zebra can turn their ears in almost any direction. In addition to eyesight and hearing, zebras have an acute sense of smell and taste.

5. Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to breed until the age of five or six. Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year. Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born. A zebra foal is brown and white instead of black and white at birth.

6. Horses, particularly colts, sometimes are physically capable of reproduction at about 18 months, but domesticated horses are rarely allowed to breed before the age of three, especially females. Horses four years old are considered mature, although the skeleton normally continues to develop until the age of six; maturation also depends on the horse's size, breed, sex, and quality of care.

CAN ZEBRAS BREED WITH HORSES?

Add caption
Unfortunately the differences between zebras and horses can merge as zebras will readily breed with horses, donkeys, wild asses etc. to produce a foil known as a zebroid.

A zebroid is the generic name for all zebra hybrids. The different hybrids are generally named using the portmanteau convention of sire's name + the dam's name.

There is generally no distinction made as to which zebra species is used. It has been found that when zebras are cross-bred, they often develop some form of dwarfism. Breeding of different branches of the equine family, which does not occur in the wild, generally results in infertile offspring. The combination of sire and dam will also affects the offspring.

A zorse is the offspring of a male zebra and a female horse. This cross is also called a zebrula, zebrule, zebra mule or golden zebra. The rarer reverse pairing is sometimes called a horbra, hebra, zebrinny or zebret. Like most other animal hybrids, the zorse is sterile.

A zony is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a pony mare. Medium-sized pony mares are preferred to produce riding zonies, but zebras have been crossed with smaller pony breeds such as the Shetland, resulting in so-called "Zetlands

A zonkey is a cross between a zebra and a donkey, although 'zonkey' is not the technically correct name for such a cross. The most commonly accepted terms are zebonkey (or zebronkey), zebrinny, zebrula, zebrass, and zedonk (or zeedonk). Another name that is sometimes used is "zebadonk". Donkeys are closely related to zebras and both animals belong to the horse family. Zonkeys are very rare. In South Africa, they occur where zebras and donkeys are found in proximity to each other. Like mules, however, they are generally genetically unable to breed, due to an odd number of chromosomes disrupting meiosis.

Click here for related articles:
All about Animals
All about the Cheetah
All about Chimpanzees
All About Coyotes
All about Gorillas
All about Hedgehogs
What is a Jaguar?
All about Meerkats
All about Polar Bears
All about Rattlesnakes
All about Snow leopards
All About Wolves
All about Lions
Alligator
Alligator and Crocodile
Alligator Facts
Are Jellyfish Fish?
Are Zebras Black with White Stripes or White with Black Stripes?
Black Rhino Facts
Butterfly Facts
Can Flying Fish really Fly?
Cheetah facts
Cheetah Facts, Videos and Photographs
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee Facts
Coelacanth
Dinosaur: Archaeopteryx
Do Fish Sleep?
Duck-Billed Platypus - Amazing Facts
Elephant Facts
Flamingo Facts
Flying Fish
Gardenofeadenanimals
Giraffe Facts
Gorilla
Great White Shark Facts
Hedgehog facts
Hippo Baby
How do you find Truffles?
How fast is the Cheetah?
How fast is a Snail?
How Long can a Flying Fish Fly for?
How to Care for Insect-eating Birds
How to get rid of Flies?
How to get Rid of Slugs
Hummingbird Facts
Is a Koala Bear a bear?
Is a Meerkat a Cat?
Koala Facts
Komodo Dragon Habitat
Lion
Lion Facts
LIVING DINOSAURS - The Coelacanth
Meerkat Facts
Moose Facts
Ostrich Facts
Peacock Facts
Polar Bear Facts
Sea animals: Sea Anemones
Seahorse Facts
Snow Leopard facts
The African Elephant
The Asiatic Lion
The Black Rhino
The Dead Leaf Butterfly
The Differences Between Crocodiles and Alligators
The Differences Between Horses and Zebras?
The Eagle Owl
The eagle owl
The Frilled Shark
The Great White Shark
The Rattlesnake
The Snowy Owl
Tiger Facts
What is the Most Poisonous Snake in India?
What are the Nine Sub-Species of Tiger?
The Indian Rhino
The Koala
The Flying Squirrel
The Giraffe
The Golden Eagle
The Hedgehog
The Hippo
The Hippopotamus
The Jesus Christ Lizard
The Komodo Dragon
The Mammoth
The Malayan Leaf Frog
The Moose
The Manatee
The Snow Leopard
The World's Biggest Snake
Panda
Panda Bear
Panda Facts
Polar Bear
Polar Bear Facts
Portuguese Man of War Stings
Rango Facts and Movie Videos
Snow Leopard
What are the Nine Sub-Species of Tiger?
The Animals of Tasmania
The Bengal Tiger
The Blue Whale
The Bumble Bee
The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus)
The Coelacanth - a living, breathing fossil
The Cuckoo
The Coyote
The Differences Between Crocodiles and Alligators
The Differences Between Horses and Zebras?
The Duck-Billed Platypus
The Flamingo
The Hippopotamus
The Hummingbird
The Indian Lion
The Jaguar
The Koala
The Meerkat
The Wild Coyote Dog
The Wolf
The Hummingbird Moth
The Giant Salamander
The Naked Mole Rat
The Ostrich
The Peacock
The Peregrine Falcon
The Portuguese Man of War
The Saber-Toothed Tiger
The Starling
The Terror Bird
The Whale
The Wolverine Frog
The World's Most Poisonous Snake
The World's Ugliest Fish
Tiger
Tiger Facts
Tigers
Ugly Animals
Venomous Snakes
What Animal is Sid from the Film 'Ice Age'?
What are Mycorrhizal Fungi?
What are Plant Macronutrients and Micronutrients?
What are Plant Nutrients?
What Causes Blue Hydrangeas to Turn Pink?
What Causes Moss in Lawns
What do Alligators Eat?
What do Chimpanzees Eat?
What do Cuckoos Eat?
What do Hedgehogs Eat?
What do Elephants Eat?
What do Flamingoes Eat?
What do Giraffes Eat?
What do you Feed Hummingbirds?
What do Hummingbirds Eat?
What do Jaguars Eat?
What do Koalas Eat?
What do Komodo Dragons Eat?
What do Meerkats Eat?
What is an Ostrich?
What do Pandas Eat?
What do Peacocks Eat?
What do Snow Leopards Eat?
What do Tigers Eat?
What does a Wolf Eat?
What is an Alligator?
What are Bats?
What is a Black Widow Spider?
What is a Cheetah?
What is a Cuckoo?
What is a Duck-Billed Platypus?
What is a Coyote?
What is a Dolphin?
What is a Dragonfly?
What is a Duck-Billed Platypus?
What is an Elephant?
What is an Emu?
What is a Flamingo?
What is a Flying Fish?
What is a Giraffe?
What is a Golden Eagle?
What is a Gorilla?
What is a Hedgehog?
What is a Hummingbird?
What is a Jaguar?
What is a Naked Mole Rat?
What is a Koala?
What is a Komodo Dragon?
What is a Lion?
What is a Mammoth?
What is a Manatee?
What is a Meerkat?
What is a Peacock?
What is a Polar Bear?
What is a Portuguese man of war?
What is a Saber Toothed Tiger?
What is a Snow Leopard?
What is a Snowy Owl?
What is the Tasmanian Tiger?
What is a Terror Bird?
What is a Wolf?
What is Chlorosis?
What is a Flying Fish?
What is Frankincense?
What is Horticulture?
What is John Innes Base?
What is John Innes Compost?
What is a Leaf Mould Compost?
What is Cork Made of?
What is a Wormery?
What is an Epiphyte?
What is Fibre?
What is an F1 Hybrid?
What is an Orchid?
What is Over-watering and How to Recognise it?
What is Pricking out?
What is Rhubarb Poisoning?
What is a Sea Anemone?
What is the Difference between African and Indian Elephants?
What is the Difference Between Alligators and Crocodiles?
What is the Difference between Alligators and Crocodiles?
What is the Difference Between a Chicken and a Hen?
What is the Difference between Energy Efficient Bulbs and Regular ones?
What is the Difference Between Fruit and Vegetables
What is the Difference between a Fruit and a Vegetable?
What is the Difference between a Frog and a Toad?
What is the Difference between a Moth and a Butterfly?
What is the Difference between Netflix and Lovefilm?
What is the Difference between a Rat and a Mouse?
What is the Difference between a Rambling Rose and a Climbing Rose?
What is the Difference Between a Tortoise and a Turtle?
What is the Difference Between a Plant Cell and an Animal Cell?
What is the Difference between a Squash, a Pumpkin and a Gourd?
What is the Difference between Currants, Raisins and Sultanas?
What is Saffron?
What is the World's Poisonous Fish?
What is the Most Venomous Snake in America?
What is the World's Biggest Cat?
What is the Worlds Biggest Shark?
What is the Worlds Fastest Animal?
What is the Worlds Largest Amphibian?
What is the Worlds Largest Eagle?
What is the Worlds Largest Flower?
What is the Worlds Largest Insect?
What is the World's Largest Moth?
What is the World's largest Reptile?
What is the World's Largest Snake?
What is the World's Largest Species of Tiger?
What is the World's Largest Spider?
What is the Worlds Fastest Bird?
What is the Worlds Fastest Fish?
What is the Worlds most Poisonous Frog?
What is the World's most Poisonous Snake?
What is the World's Ugliest Dog?
What is the Most Poisonous Spider?
When should you Re-pot an Orchid?
When do you feed Hummingbirds?
Where can you Find a Polar Bear?
Where did the Saber-Toothed Tiger Live?
Where can you find Flamigoes?
Where can you find the Golden Eagle?
Where can you find Gorillas?
Where can you find Pandas?
Where do you find Alligators?
Where do you Find Black Widow Spiders?
Where do Cheetahs Live?
Where do Elephants Live?
Where do Giraffes Live?
Where do Gorillas Live?
Where do you find Great White Sharks?
Where do Jaguars Live?
Where do Kangaroos Live?
Where do Koalas Live?
Where can you find Komodo Dragons?
Where do Peacocks Live?
Where do Manatees Live?
Where do Lions Live?
Where to find Meerkats?
Where are Meerkats from?
Where do Pandas Live?
Where do Polar Bears Live?
Where do Rattlesnakes Live?
Where do Snow Leopards Live?
Where do Tigers Live?
Where do Wolves Live?
Where do Zebras Live?
Where to find Dolphins?
Where can you find Flying Squirrels?
Where to find Red Squirrels?
Which Animal has the Largest Brain in the World?
Why are Flamingoes Pink?
Why are Pandas Endangered?
Why do Elephants have Big Ears?
Why do Flamingoes stand on one leg?
Why do Giraffes have Long Necks?
Why do Onions make you Cry?
Why do Leaves Change their Colour in the Autumn Fall
Why do Trees drop their Leaves in Autumn Fall
Why is the Sea Salty?
Why is the Sky Blue?
Wildlife
Wolf Conservation
Wolf Facts
World's Largest Insect
Zebra
Photo care of http://www.freakingnews.com/Horse-Zebra-Pictures-33266.asp and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-464723/Meet-Eclyse--amazing-zebra-crossing.html
Article based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebra and http://www.differencebetween.net/

1 comment:

Marion said...

I know the answer to this one: one has stripes and the other don't!! Great, informative post!