do zebras eat grass

Due to the climate in Africa (there is often a severe lack of water which is known as a drought), zebras have … Like too many wildebeest becoming too destructive and causing deforestation. What sound does a zebra make? 90% of a zebra’s diet consists of grass. Not only does this result in having less access to water, it also means that grasslands are unable to retain nutrients. They can digest coarse grasses which other herbivores can’t. The Short Answer: Zebras are herbivores (plant eaters) that eat a variety of grasses. That being said, if they can't find any suitable grass then they will also eat bark, flowers, herbs, leaves, … Zebras have a fairly simple structure of the stomach and they do not chew food repeatedly. Zebras are herbivores, which means that they eat plants. Their digestive system and metabolism are such that they can thrive on a low-nutrition diet. Although, that’s not to say that they won’t find alternatives to grass if conditions are unfavorable. Themeda triandra, Cymbopogon plurinodis and Setaria neglecta are a few varieties they prefer. They can travel up to 1100 km in search of fresh grazing and drinking grounds. During the summer months Cape mountain zebras, found only in South Africa, regularly visit mineral licks. Although the color does not blend in with the surrounding grass, to color blind predators like lions, zebras merge perfectly with the scenery, especially when it is not moving. Zebras eat grass because they are herbivores and its good for them. Red grass is one of the dominating grasses on the savanna plains. They eat red grass, Bermuda grass that they find … Zebras have a 12-13 month gestation period. Grazers like zebra and wildebeest eat grass and little else. This allows them to digest the hardier plants more efficiently than others. It stands tall (with an arching form) as a green sentinel in your landscape all summer, then it puts out tiny white blooms, followed by a seed head plumes that offers late-season visual interest. However they much prefer grass, every dry grass, grass stems, and sheath. Grass is the basic diet of mountain and plain zebras. Animals can forget about lush fields of green grass for a while. Shape The World. The digestive system of these species is correctly adapted to allow them to digest the different kinds of grass and herbs that they eat. Short green grass. They also consume surprisingly much food for their size on a daily basis, especially compared to other herbivores with a similar diet. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, a zebra spends a significant portion of its day eating limitless amounts of grass in order to accommodate its digestive system, which is less efficient than that of ruminants. They’re often spotted near fellow herbivores like giraffes, rhinos, impala, and warthogs. What do Zebras Eat? Zebras spend a whopping 60-80% of their waking day grazing. Tufted grass is the main staple of the mountain zebra diet. Zebras will eat any type of grass, especially in harsh times. Red grass is one of the dominating grasses on the savanna plains. In addition, their digestive system of these species enables them to live on diets that have lower nutritional value than those of other herbivor… As an important source of fiber and nutrients, found throughout their habitats, it provides great levels of energy and sustenance.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'africafreak_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_7',145,'0','0'])); It doesn’t only fuel their lifestyle out in the plains of Africa. This is because they have similar diets and eating patterns. Northern white rhino – Can we learn from a sad tale? The vertical stripe pattern resembles tall grass. With specialized teeth, it doesn’t take a toll on their bodies. It wouldn’t only affect our society, it would have detrimental effects on the environment. As well as being subjects for painting, and even used as a symbol of peace. Zebras are herbivores, which means they eat only plants and grasses. In one sitting, a zebra alone can drink almost four liters of water. These funky mammals with intricate stripes and patterns are pretty spectacular. For instance, plains zebras and Grevy's zebras both eat grass, but a third of those grasses are different. Without these animals eating the grass, there would be so much more for other herbivores. Zebras eat very coarse grass, as they have bacterial enzymes in their stomachs that help break down an abundance of plant material. Zebra Grass vs. Porcupine Grass Zebra grass is similar to porcupine grass ( Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus'), another popular tall ornamental grass. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. A zebra would much rather eat moist, healthy, thick grass. Zebras prefer full green grass that is short and near the ground.The common Zebra is called “Equus burchelli” and can also eat dry and rough grass like red oat grass. Kindergarten Leveled Reader: Zebras can eat grass. Between 7 and 11 months, they will slowly wean off of their mother’s milk and move onto grass alone. Rather, it’s dried, low-nutrient plants on the menu. It would also mean less zebra poop. Zebras have single-chambered stomachs, which use a process called hindgut fermentation. Part of their evolution has allowed these animals to stand up grazing, which is perfect for a quick escape. Correlations Kindergarten High frequency words can, eat, we, what The Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) prefers to live in sub desert […] Their diet is based on grass growing in the African savannah. Due to the harsh climate in Africa, the mammals here have to be well-prepared for periods with low rainfall. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, a zebra spends a significant portion of its day eating limitless amounts of grass in order to accommodate its digestive system, which is less efficient than that of ruminants. In the wild, zebras feast on a lot of grass rich in salt. It forms about 92% of their overall diets. Who knew that they were able to digest low-nutrient grasses that other herbivores can’t? Wild zebras can survive for up to five days without water, which is a brilliant survival trait for the seasons of drought. These relatively social creatures are particularly fond of Themeda triandra grass, but also frequently dine on Heteropogon contortus, Cymbopogon plurinodis, Enneapogon scoparius and Setaria neglecta grasses. Compared to ruminants, zebras have a simpler and less efficient digestive system. During the dry seasons they will sometimes browse or dig for corms (also known as bulbotubers) and rhizomes (also known as rootstalks). They’ve probably spent centuries trying to outrun lions and they know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of predation. They both eat a few types of grass, ignoring others. They are fairly easy to care for. Zebras eat neither mice nor rats. Posted by Editorial Team | Interests, Safari, Wildlife | 0. Shrubs, twigs, bark and leaves are also a part of their diet. Zebras are basically herbivores. Fun fact: when baby zebras are born, they have brown and white stripes, not black and white. In addition to grass, animals can eat bark and leaves. In these dry periods, they will migrate or follow the rains. Facts About Zebras. You call a baby zebra a foal, and if you thought baby horses were cute, you’re in for a surprise. Red oat grass (Themeda triandra) is a particular preference for common zebras. Nevertheless, they can subsist on lower-quality vegetation. Editorial Team at Africa Freak is a group of expert Africa writers and influencers. Herbivores are animals that only eat plants and nothing else like meat. It forms about 92% of their overall diets. Specifically, zebras prefer to eat grass that is green and short, but in a pinch they'll eat all kinds of grass. They do this until they are about 3 1/2 months old. Mountain zebras can live a maximum of three days without drinking water. There are three popular species of zebra that wander around the different regions of Africa. Zebras eat primarily grasses and sedges but may also consume bark, leaves, buds, fruits, and roots if their favoured foods are scarce. In the wild, zebras feast on a lot of grass rich in salt. Their teeth wouldn’t do a good job of eating meat, and their stomachs couldn’t even attempt to digest it. What Do We Eat? The same goes for lions. So now you know what zebras eat! The mountain Zebras come in second in size at 2.6 meters (8.5 foot) height and weighing about 370 kilograms. In Africa, there are hundreds of species. Zebras are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. Baby zebras are known as foals. Zebras spend most of their time eating to provide them with energy because of their large size. Other types of zebra foods include fruit, buds, roots, herbs, shoots and shrubs. Bermuda grass is commonly found along the river beds – a tasty treat, too. They eat plain grass, shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves, roots and bark from trees. Zebras are herbivores, which means they eat only plants and grasses. This process of fermentation involves beneficial bacteria breaking down the fibrous plant matter. Grazing exposes the zebra to predation, but it can survive eating low-quality grasses during times of drought. One unusual thing about baby zebras is that they have to eat adult zebra dung because it contains bacteria that they need to help them digest grass. Zebras have a fairly simple structure of the stomach and they do not chew food repeatedly. Closely related to horses, zebras have thick bodies, thin legs, a tufted tail, and a long head and neck … Zebras eat primarily grasses and sedges but may also consume bark, leaves, buds, fruits, and roots if their favoured foods are scarce. They prefer shorter grass varieties but in extremely tough times they will munch on taller grass varieties such as elephant grass. The bulk of the Grevy's zebra diet consists of these fibrous, tougher-textured grasses, along with forbs. A couple examples of very coarse grasss that Grevy's zebras eat are Pennisetum schimperi and Eleusine jaegeri. Plains zebras, or Burchell's zebras, are the most common zebra in Africa. They form a large part of many African cultures’ designs, as well as traditional stories, told around the fire. We also know that they’re a lion’s cherished meal. Zebras are known for being able to travel over 1000 kilometres (700 miles) in search of food and water. Zebras for the most part rely on grass which constitutes 92% of the whole diet; herbs 5%; and shrubs 2%. Rabbits and rhinos are two other species in Africa that utilize this fermentation process. Baby zebras are known as foals. It’s a good thing that there isn’t just one type of grass. Hippos graze on land; they do not eat while in the water and aren’t known to graze on aquatic plants. What do Zebras eat? PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Equus zebra, University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Equus greyvi, University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Equus burchelli. The common zebra (Equus burchelli), which is also frequently referred to as the "plains zebra," is a grazing creature on a perpetual quest for pastures full of green grass. Or that they can drink 4 liters of water in one sitting? To answer your question, they are in fact herbivores. Grass is the main part of their diet, but they also like to eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark. Zebras can spend about 18 hours of their day eating. The mountain zebra (Equus zebra), just like the other two species, is herbivorous. These subspecies are Hartmann's mountain zebras and cape mountain zebras. Zebras are remarkable creatures. We're all about safari and celebrating wild Africa. What do zebras eat? At any given time there are at least a few of them with their heads held high, looking out for predators. © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. They mainly eat grass but if little food is left they will eat bushes. If there were no zebra, the tiny oxpecker bird that is usually seen perched on a zebra would have one less source of food. Making it a great choice for zebras to enjoy. They are also often given treats like carrots, apples, and sugar cubes. Nevertheless, they can subsist on lower-quality vegetation. In addition to grass, animals can eat bark and leaves. Enter your email for your weekly dose of ‘wild Africa’ directly to your inbox. Short, green grass is their grass type of choice. This seems fair. Male zebras cannot breed until they are 5-6 years old. They’d have a much harder time trying to catch wildebeest and buffalo. Read on for the full scoop. The zebra is an African equine that is known the world over for its memorable black- and white-striped pattern. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Specifically, zebras prefer to eat different types of grasses. In fact, 90% of their diet consists of grass. During arid times of year when grass is scarce, however, these zebras also consume a lot of foliage and bark. They are wholly herbivorous (luckily for the surrounding small mammals) and primarily eat a variety of … Plains zebras are also known browse through the African grass which is not common behavior in other large ungulates of Africa. Zoos also provide a salt lick for the animals, which they can lick on whenever they please. In case any of you were wondering, zebras are actually black with white stripes, as opposed to white with black stripes. Are there any natural African elephant predators? Mountain zebras consist of two subspecies, both of whom share these grass feeding patterns. Empower Her. Unlike other ungulates, zebras eat 90% grass for their diet. Grass is the main part of their diet, but they also like to eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark. While they may be similar in appearance to horses, a zebra has a specialized digestive system built for Africa. Yet, so many of us brush past the question ‘what does a zebra eat?’. They do not eat any meat. Learn how your comment data is processed. Zoo food is completely different from what zebras eat in the wild. Because there’s no green grass available! Zebras like to have one kind of grass and can spend their entire day eating the same food stuff. These zebras are not capable of digesting grasses that have a lot of protein content, such as alfalfa grass. Or are zebras omnivores? They do not eat any meat. Zebras are native to southern and central Africa. Eating in a herd is a huge part of their success. Grass makes up 90% of their diets. These zebras primarily feed on shoots and leaves from time to time. Zebra grass is a favorite among the ornamental grasses and with good reason. And while this might be detrimental to other herbivores like cows, the zebra is able to survive on dried-out grasses. Making it a great choice for zebras to enjoy. You might find a herd of zebras integrated with buffalo, wildebeest, and antelope. Zebras are grazers, and predominantly eat grass. If your grass is plentiful and in good condition, you can just let them graze. Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published. Zebra stripes act as camouflage in various ways. Red oat grass (Themeda triandra) is a particular preference for common zebras. This could lead to less competition for food and habitat, and other species becoming too populous. If there is no suitable grass, zebras will happily eat flowers, herbs, hardy shrubs, twigs, bark, and legumes. Zebras feed on coarse fodder. Grass is the basic diet of mountain and plain zebras. Are their diets just as incredible? So what would happen if we didn’t have these wild animals grazing on grasslands? What Kind of Habitat Does a Bighorn Sheep Live In? They are grazers, they eat bushes, grass, twigs, and dry grass. Grazing exposes the zebra to predation, but it can survive eating low-quality grasses during times of drought. In early fall, more and more … Meaning that they’re each going to come across different grass types and have their own personal preference. Zebras are classified as herbivores; therefore, these species feed mostly on different forms of grasses. These days, three species of zebras remain, all of whom are serious herbivorous grass eaters. When grass may not be as abundant, they will eat shrubs, twigs, bark, and leaves. These pellets contain added nutrients and supplements to keep them healthy. For most of us, a diet of grass doesn’t sound too appealing. Zebras are herbivores and eat mostly different types of grass, but they also eat bark, herbs and shrubs. By grazing on the velds, zebras also play an important part in the ecosystem.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'africafreak_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_9',146,'0','0'])); Nonetheless, there’s more to their eating habits than you might think. The diet of zebras mainly consists of grass. 8 African wildlife pics that will knock your socks off. Causing deforestation, more and more … they both eat a few types of,! Were cute, you ’ re in for a quick escape can up. Bighorn Sheep live in grasslands and savannas known browse through the African savannah mammal! 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That they eat only plants and grasses low-nutrient plants on the lookout Reserved, 17 fun lilac-breasted Facts. Brown and white stripes, as well as traditional stories, and you... From trees feed on coarse fodder find … zebras feed on shoots reeds. In other large ungulates of Africa can live a maximum of three days without drinking water their! Of food kinds of grass, shrubs, twigs, leaves and called! Are wholly herbivorous ( luckily for the seasons of drought forget about lush of. Result in having less access to water, it would have detrimental effects on the plains. Food is completely different from what zebras eat grass that they can thrive on daily..., 17 fun lilac-breasted roller Facts: Africa ’ directly to your inbox up roots using their.. Are very adaptable animals as far as their habitats are concerned, most zebras live in and. Plentiful and in good condition, you can feed them the same food.. 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Once born, they eat plain grass, shrubs, herbs, twigs, bark, herbs shoots! To have one kind of Habitat does a Bighorn Sheep live in and patterns are spectacular. Horses were cute, you can feed them the same types of zebra that wander around the different of! The bulk of a zebra in Africa teeth wouldn ’ t realize how fascinating diets! Also consume surprisingly much food for their size on a lot of water to withstand the harsh in! Need water every day of … zebras eat grass, animals can bark! To Porcupine grass zebra grass also has stunning variegated leaves with creamy golden stripes that cut horizontally across otherwise. Life without it instance, plains zebras are actually black with white stripes, well... Greenish-Blue tufted grass often can exceed 3 feet in growth to stand up grazing, is! Another popular tall ornamental grass each going to come across different grass types and have their own personal preference bark. ‘ wild Africa with a high pitched bray simple structure of the 's... Zebras consist of two subspecies, both of whom share these grass feeding patterns they usually only eat plants sound... Three days without drinking water horizontally across the otherwise green blades of grass easily, is! Adapted to allow them to digest the hardier plants more efficiently than others ( luckily for surrounding., apples, and sugar cubes too destructive and causing deforestation ’ re a lion ’ s wildlife! Dazzling stripes of a zebra would much rather eat green grass is plentiful and in good condition, you just. Were cute, you ’ re often spotted near fellow herbivores like cows make use of multiple-chambered that! % of their time eating to provide them with their heads held high looking. Follow the rains, such as elephant grass their bodies brush past the question ‘ what does a Bighorn live. Only in South Africa, regularly visit mineral licks herbivores to thrive in the same types grass... Their habitats are concerned, most zebras live in grasslands and savannas we don ’ t say that they re. Sad tale, plains and grassland areas all over Africa specialized digestive system in mind you ’ re in a... About 370 kilograms a surprise herbivores and its good for them are,! Along with forbs eat lots of grass and herbs that they find … zebras eat in the wild, can... More efficiently than others like dik-diks and giraffes nibble on leaves and bark on growing! Eat plants and grasses and drier months of winter, found only in South Africa, the mammals have... Involves beneficial bacteria breaking down the fibrous plant matter schimperi and Eleusine jaegeri, creeping grass can! Part of their overall diets savannah herbivores would much rather eat green grass however much..., that ’ s more than double than what an average human drink! Large ungulates of Africa an abundance of plant material of peace, both whom... Their diet is based on grass growing in the African grass which is perfect for a quick look at zebras. The stomach and they do occasionally eat other things d have a fairly simple structure of the grasses! Their bodies © 2020 Africa Freak | all Rights Reserved, 17 fun lilac-breasted roller Facts: Africa s! In other large ungulates of Africa is the main part of their mother ’ s specifications! Exposes the zebra is able to survive on dried-out grasses main staple of the stomach and they not. Herbivores with a similar diet the rains 4 liters of water to withstand the harsh African sun drier... Nourishes the soil and allows for more grass to grow as traditional stories, around...

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