ZEBRA (Equus burchelli)
Herbivorous hoofed African mammal of the genus Equus, which also includes the horse and the ass. It is distinguished by its striking pattern of black or dark brown stripes alternating with white. In size and body form it is intermediate between the larger horse and the smaller ass. It has a heavy head, stout body, short, stiff mane, and tufted tail. There are three living zebra species; a fourth species, the quagga , became extinct in the late 19th cent. Most zebras inhabit open plains or brush country, while mountain zebras favor rocky hillsides. Zebra herds on the Serengeti of E Africa can be as large as 200,000 individuals, but all are organized in family groups led by a stallion. The plains zebras usually mix with other grazing animals, such as wildebeest and antelopes. They are swift runners, achieving speeds of up to 40 mph.The plains zebra is found throughout Africa S of the Sahara. It stands about 4 ft (120 cm) tall at the shoulder and has small ears. It has very broad stripes, which vary greatly in their pattern among the several races of the species, as well as among individuals of the same race.