African subgenus of Equus of the horse family
(Redirected from Plains zebra)

Zebras are mammals of the family Equidae. Zebras are African horses. They are in the same genus as the common horse, Equus caballus, and donkeys. Zebras are known for having many black and white stripes. There are three main species of zebra, Grevy's Zebra, the Plains Zebra, and the Mountain Zebra.


Temporal range: Pliocene to recent 5.3–0 Ma
A herd of plains zebra ("Equus quagga")
A herd of plains zebras (Equus quagga) in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family: Equidae
Genus: Equus
Subgenus: Hippotigris
C. H. Smith, 1841

E. capensis
E. grevyi
E. koobiforensis
E. mauritanicus
E. oldowayensis
E. quagga
E. zebra

Modern range of the three living zebra species


  • Genus Equus
    • Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi)
    • Plains Zebra (Equus quagga)[1]
      • Crawshay’s Zebra (Equus quagga crawshaii)
      • Selous' Zebra (Equus quagga borensis)
      • Grant’s Zebra or Boehm's Zebra, (Equus quagga boehmi)
      • Chapman's Zebra (Equus quagga chapmani)
      • Burchell's Zebra (Equus quagga burchellii)
      • Quagga (Equus quagga quagga)
    • Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra)



All zebras have very short fur because they live in hot areas. Their fur has black and white stripes. The main part of the body has mostly vertical stripes, and the legs have horizontal stripes. They also have a dark line directly down their spine. Each of the different zebra species has different types of stripes. Each zebra has a unique pattern.[2]

Despite many attempts, we do not really know what the advantage is of having those characteristic stripes. There are different species and sub-species of zebra, and they all have stripes, so scientists think it must be important.[3]

Zebras are social animals that spend time in herds, they graze together and sometimes even groom each other.[4] They can have babies (foals) when they are about five years old and can have one every year. Zebras mainly eat grass. They always live near water and are an endangered species.

Zebras live in Africa, south of the Sahara desert.


  1. "Equus quagga (Plains Zebra, Burchell's Zebra, Common Zebra, Painted Zebra)". iucnredlist.org. 2011. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2011. E. q. quagga (Quagga)
  2. McClintock, Dorcas 1976. A natural history of Zebras. New York: Scribner's. ISBN 0-684-14621-5
  3. Larison, Brenda; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Thomassen, Henri A.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.; Chan-Golston, Alec M.; Li, Elizabeth; Smith, Thomas B. 2015. "How the zebra got its stripes: a problem with too many solutions". Royal Society Open Science. 2 (1): 140452. [1]
  4. "National Geographic". National Geographic. 10 September 2010.