This podcast episode we talk about the Zebra! Relax, unwind, and join me in the African woodlands, where we learn all about a wild horse that is not at all "black and white"
To go straight to the facts; they start at 11:02
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hello everyone well we'll come back to relax with animal facts I am Steph wolf and today I am going to be learning with you about our furry scaly or possibly even slimy friends and in today's case it is definitely going to be a furry friend of ours because we are covering the oh so wonderful zebra this of course is a very very special listener episode dedicated to Calvin Hannah Kimberley and to Terry I thank all of you for your wonderful suggestion for today's episode Calvin actually along with this wonderful suggestions send an equally wonderful picture of the zebra hand to draw on with all of its magnificence and so Calvin thank you for your drawing in addition to your request I hope that all four of you that have written into the show that requested this particular animal will enjoy your special episode for those of you that wish to send an animal request in to the show you can do so in one of four ways the first way is the most popular way and that is by sending a message to the relax with animal facts Instagram handle you can also send an email to relax with animal facts at G. mail dot com you can send your animal request in directly through the website relax with animal facts dot com by clicking the animal request a button up at the top and lastly you can send a carrier pigeon and for instructions on how to train them you can refer more particularly to the carrier pigeon episode I just want to remind all of you that for those of you that wish to go straight to the facts on each and every episode past a certain episode I can't remember which one that we started doing it on but in the description or the show notes of each episode is a time stamp so it will say for example six twenty three what that means is that the podcast starts or rather the facts start at six minutes and twenty three seconds for those of you that wish to go straight to the facts and are not interested in my reading of the reviews and different things of that nature you can go straight to that time and listen to your pleasure anyone that wants more of the relax with animal facts podcast show you can go to a tree on dot com slash relax with animal facts there are currently three exclusive episodes along with today's episode it will be for exclusive episodes that you can listen to and you'll be getting for exclusive episode continuations along with some audio versions of the blogs that are posted to relax with animal facts dot com you can all get access to these exclusive episode continuations no matter which tier you are on a tree on the lowest one being one dollar per month but now let us go to the review portion of the show in which I read a review from one of you special listeners out there and before I read today's newest review I am going to actually read an updated review from I love snake we read I love snakes review just a couple of episodes ago it might have even been a last episode I'm not entirely sure but I love snake change their review from a five star to a one star just so I would be able to read and see this updated review and so I love snake writes I meant I love snakes I caught a frog into salamanders and now I am keeping them as pets thank you I love snake for updating us as to the reason for your name and I am so glad that you have a frog into salamanders that are now your pets just so all of you know if I read a review and the something has changed or what's not you do not have to change the review around in order to contact me if you wish to contact me you can do so in any of the three ways that we listed before that is via Instagram via email or even through the website but now let me go to the newest review of this podcast episode this is coming from Fisher M. one two three who wrote in this review via apple podcasts and is writing all the way from the United States of America and Fisher am one two three rights I enjoy listening to this podcast at night when I am having trouble falling asleep Stefan's voice is very calming and helps lower me to sleep the animals selected are always interesting and he does a great job sourcing his facts the only thing I would change would be to include more facts if you're looking for a podcast to unwind with I'd highly recommend relax with animal facts thank you Fisher for your wonderful review along with the suggestion to include more facts I definitely would love to include as many facts as possible into one episode the reason I choose as many as they do is normally I only have an allotted time slot to record and to edit and everything like that but perhaps in the future if the show ever has and editor that is not myself I'm sure we could up the facts a good bunch I am very happy that the show helps you at nine eight AM this calming for you and helps you fall asleep of course I cannot take any credit for the animals being interesting they were not exactly of well my design but I am very happy that there are animals that really gets you guys passionate and excited and things like that if you wish to leave a review like Fisher M. one two three did you can absolutely do so via apple podcasts or on Spotify I believe has a rating system now if the show has helped you and you want to give back you can absolutely do so just know that any reviews or extra things that you guys do are exactly that extra your listenership already means the absolute world to me and to this show you keeping me good company as we waded into the rivers or walk in the swamp wins is gift enough so before we get into the show let me just say where I caught my facts from for this particular episode I got my facts from live science dot com animals Dr San Diego zoo dot org and at him online dot com this podcast episode would not have been possible if it were not for these resources and so each and every one of them will be in the show notes or the description of this episode and you can always go ahead and search to your heart's content the wonderful animals and etymologies and all of those sorts of things in those resources now I would like for all of you to notice perhaps where you are carrying some tension it might be in the head it might be in the shoulders it is amazing just how much of our day we can spend with our shoulders all the way up or our faces all scrunched up and tensed up because someone cut us off in traffic or was not very nice for me E. in today's case it is mostly in the head so I would like all of you to right along side me see where you are may be carrying some tension on knowingly and do your best to try to relax those portions of your body as we go into this immersive experience with me staff wolf into the grasslands where the zebra resides the zebra is a single hoped animal that isn't native to Africa zebra is going to be very closely related to horses and two donkeys and in fact they are even in the same genus Equus so that means that it's scientific name is going to include this particular word and just so everyone knows how the word is spelled and it is not left up to my horrible pronunciations the word is spelled E. Q. U. U. S. so whether it is pronounced equis or act keys is all a matter of chance at this point so the scientific name is going to be equis zebra which for I am thankful that it is so short and the most prominent feature of zebras that we most likely think about when we think about zebra is this kind of bold pattern on their coats and so I figure it might be a good place to start right off despite their appearance zebras are not just a black and white there's sturdy spirited animals that are a study in contrasts they are social and also standoffish at times they are willful they are playful they are resilient and some to times vulnerable there live in a herd can be complex and yet they will also find some safety in numbers and so despite the fact that they are black and white in their appearance these animals are more complex and have more to their character than their coats might give them credit but these stripes the age old question the age old debate are they a white with black stripes or or the black with white stripes zebras are generally thought to have white coats with black and sometimes brown stripes that is because if you look at most zebras the stripe and on the belly and towards the inside of the legs and the rest is all white however some zebras are born with genetic variations that make them all black with some white stripes and as it turns out zebras have black skin underneath their hair so it really depends how you look at it now when I think about the stripes of the zebra I see it as very majestic and very beautiful and altogether very unique we cover a lot of animals that will employ camouflage and things like that in which there for or parts of their appearance will be pretty specific environments we may think of the cheater for X. sample with their for is this spotted sporadic kind of coloration that matches the grasses and the toll reads that the blend of themselves into in their environments but the zebra sticks out like a big sore thumb in so the question will naturally arise why the stripes it might be surprising to you that these stripes server actually a kind of protection from their natural predators the reason I would imagine the zebra to stick out like a sore thumb and that the stripes would be disadvantageous is because I am imagining them completely alone but in the case of the zebra they travel mostly in groups for protection against predators so you can imagine that when zebras are grouped together these stripes all combining together and mixing with one another well almost create a sort of illusionary experience where it might be difficult for the leopard or FOR The Lion to pick out one individual zebra to chase a lot of the predatory tactics that are employed by some of these big cats which are the zebras natural predators is to single out or to scatter the herd in one way or another if they can get just one of the animal of this giant pack to be able to scatter off from the rest they will have a much easier time getting their dinner but in the case of the zebra the choosing of which particular animal would be best to separate from the rest of the pack or the rest of the group is going to be tremendously more difficult when you have these different patterns of stripes blending into one big tapestry of confusion and of course the zebra stripes are unique to each individual and will even provide a basis for which researchers are able to single out or identify individuals from their families how researchers identify certain animals with in a pack or a group to me is actually pretty interesting it can tell you much about the animal's anatomy and different sorts of things of that nature I think for example of the gorilla in which many individuals will be identified by their nostrils we as human beings have a great variety in our fingerprints now the reason I don't say that our fingerprints are one hundred percent of the time unique is because there have actually been cases in which there are identical fingerprints among people it is incredibly rare so we can say that as a generality human beings can be identified by their unique fingerprints now it might seem like a zebra is a zebra but there are indeed three different species there is the plains zebra the mountain zebra and the gravies zebra these different zebra species will have different types of stripes generally being differentiated from one another depending on the thickness of the stripes one might be more narrow one might be more why and in fact the farther south on the African plains that you travel the farther apart the stripes on the zebras get the basic form of zebras V. large head the very sturdy strong mac the long legs a dorsal stripe along the spine dorsal just meeting posted earlier or back ended this dorsal stripe will continue along the spine right down to their tasseled tail they will have a bristly mane and all of these characteristics is universal among the zebra no zebra or wild he quit is going to have a four lock which is a lock of hair that grows just above the forehead it is particularly challenging for me to describe so it might be easier when you do have time to search up what exactly eighty four lakh is and what it looks like but of all of these three zebra species the Grevy's zebra is the largest weighing from seven hundred and seventy two nine hundred and ninety pounds that's about three hundred and fifty to four hundred and fifty kilograms and it will measure up to five feet at the shoulder that's about one and a half meters so this is a large animal the Grevy's zebra in particular which remember is one of the three zebra species is the one that has the most mule like physique soul donkey like physique because of their steak mac and those large round two years it is going to look quite mule like the Grevy's zebra although they have a very sick mac will have one of the thinnest stripes they will have these thin stripes extending all the way down to their white belly on the hindquarters the stripes are vertical until above the hind legs just so all of you know how the Grevy's zebra is spelled it is G. R. E. V. Y. S. the correct these zebra the second zebra species which is V. mountain zebra has vertical stripes on the neck and torso which graduate to wider and fewer horizontal bars on the haunches it has a very particular grade iron pattern on its rump and its white underside has a very dark stripe that will run the full length of its belly what mostly distinguishes the mountain zebra is a distinctive dewlap that is on its throat the it looks a bit like an Adam's apple and lastly the plains zebra is the most abundant and small list of the three zebra species some subspecies have a stripe pattern different from all the others that being brownish quote on quote shadow stripes between the black stripes on their coat we can see here that all of these three species they will also have some very distinguishing characteristics that goes beyond mere size length and things of that nature the mountain zebra having a kind of Adam's apple the Grevy's zebra being of course the largest but also having a very mule like physique and the plains zebra having a distinctive striped pattern commonly among subspecies and to let us move to the habitat and diet different zebras have different habitats the Grevy's zebra lives in semi arid grassland habitats in Kenya Ethiopia and Somalia the mountain zebra of course as their name so rightly and faithfully implies they will inhabit rocky arid slopes in Namibia and Angola the plane zebra which are the most abundant if we remember of the three zebra species are found from the grasslands of East Africa to the scrubby woodlands of southern Africa they are take killer Lee one of Africa's most successful and adaptable large herbivores a subspecies of the plains zebra known as the grant's zebra is famous for its spectacular migrations during the rainy season in the sarin Getty when as many as ten thousand of these animals can be seen journeying together in congregated herds already we are seeing some amazing facts about the zebra because of the zebra is in particular or one of these animals that are seen as very exotic and unique and special we oftentimes see it in a lot of different places but without going into any particular detail and so it is great to find out just exactly how they are not only unique in their appearance but also in their behaviors physiology and anatomy zebras are herbivores meaning that their diet is herbivorous in definition the zebra therefore is going to be grazing on grasses although they might also browse a bit on the leaves and stems of bushes as well as some times bark the grades for many hours each day using their strong front teeth to clip off the tips of the grass their back teeth then crush and grind the food and because these are decently large animals they're going to spend much of their time chewing which in turn will be wearing those teeth down but in the zebra they do not have much to worry about they will not have to go and buy some dentures but rather they will be putting the zebra dentists out of business by having their teeth continually grow all throughout their life as the dry season approaches and the grasses will die back zebra herds will travel more in order to find more food and water holes for drinking as well most zebras are considered nomadic meaning that they are going to be without specific territories and frequently traveling however we remember that the zebra has three distinct species and the Caribbean's zebra which is the largest of the zebras is going to be an exception to this nomadic behavior stallions of this species will actually mark out territories with your in and with dong the mayor's their full switches the little babies as well as immature males wander through as they wish but any other large stallions are going to know that they will have to stay out of the territory of another stallion if food becomes scarce the stallions however will leave their territories for a while and travel with the larger herds they do what they do in order to survive the particularly arid conditions of their environment it is dry it is hard and often times it can be very unforgiving as well as unpredictable now at the top of the show you heard what the zebra sounds like so let us move to the communication of the zebra they are going to communicate with one another with sounds but also with facial expressions for obvious reasons I could not play facial expressions of the zebra but with their sounds they will make loud braying or even barking sounds and the soft snorts and whoops the position of their ears how wide their eyes are and whether their mouths are open or their teeth are bared all means something when the years are flat back for example this means trouble or you better follow some orders zebras will also reinforce their bonds by grooming each other and you might even see two zebras standing heads back apparently biting each other but they are really only nibbling on each other with their teeth to pull out any loose hair and maybe even get a good scratch the ritual of grooming one another creates very strong bonds between animals in their particular groups and of course is not at all exclusive to the zebra we see this sort of behavior in many primate species four X. sample and in the cases of some animals to pet groom on a regular basis this will not only serve as a way of bonding individuals but it will also act as a sort of preventative measure against certain kinds of diseases as well as general maintenance of hygiene the baby zebras which are called Foles must be able to recognize their mother from birth in order to survive to do this a full will learn its mother's stripe pattern in order to follow her very closely but this is a fact in which we must employ our reasoning to me at least comes the question how do we really know that it is only the stripe pattern of the fulls mother that it uses to identify her it could be smell it could be a good deal of other things as well of course researchers studied general animal behavior although it might be a little bit challenging to figure out what exactly a full is thinking because it doesn't normally tell us all in all the full will indeed have to know its mother's stripe pattern although there might be some other ways in which the full will use in order to identify its mother this is important because mayors usually do not adopt other foals the mayor is the female version of the zebra just so we are not using any words that we don't know what the definitions to Seoul mayor errors as a general rule will not adopt other baby zebras so they would be absolutely no chance of getting food from anyone but mom mothers often separated from the herd just a short distance so that their foals can imprint on them and once the fall can readily identify its mother the mayor and the full return to the herd for protection now let me go to the final fact of this episode which is the word zebra what in the world does this word mean or even where does it come from we'll hear from at him online the word zebra comes from the Italian word and perhaps even from Portuguese which was applied earlier to a now extinct wild donkey but for the most part the word zebra has a bit of an uncertain origin it is said to be perhaps Congolese or from an accurate word but perhaps it ultimately might be from the Latin word Equifax does which means wild horse and from Equus horse the zebra is most certainly a kind of wild horse as can be evident just from looking at them but it seems as though the word zebra is mostly unaccounted for and this from a sort of uncertain origin but knowing the root words of some of those Latin words can help us in the identification of other animals when we know that equities meaning horse as well as fairuce meaning fierce so aquifers quite literally translated is a fierce horse that is very cool for those of you that wish to continue this episode a little bit deeper into the savannas can join us on the pay tree on page in which we are going to pull up our little safari hats and dig a bit deeper thank you Calvin Hannah Kimberley and Terry for requesting this very cool and wonderful animal if you want to learn about a particular animal that you find a cool and interesting please send a message to relax with animal facts on Instagram send an email to relax with animal facts at G. mail dot com or you can even submit your animal request via the website relax with animal facts dot com thank you all for listening and for joining me on our little adventure I hope that you will all join me on the next podcast episode with the next animal take care