What Are Some Zebra Facts for Kids?

zebra-kids Credit: Benh LIEU SONG/CC-BY-SA 2.0

One interesting fact about zebras is that different species have different size stripes that range from narrow to wide. Zebras that live farther south on the African planes have stripes that are further apart those of zebras that range in the north. Zebras are closely related to both horses and donkeys, have great eyesight and hearing, and are capable of running up to 35 miles per hour.

Zebras' stripes serve as a natural defense mechanism. When they are standing in a group, their stripes make them blend together, which makes it harder for predators like lions or leopards to pick out just one zebra to hunt.

A group of zebras is known as a harem. Zebras only sleep when they are in a group that can warn them of danger, and even then, they sleep standing up. If one zebra sees a predator, it barks or neighs loudly to warn the other members of its group.

Zebras communicate using both facial expressions and sounds. The position of a zebra's ears, how wide open its eyes are and whether it is showing its teeth all send different messages. For example, if a zebra puts its ears back, it often means it is warning other zebras of trouble.