do zebras eat grass

For centuries zebras have featured in cave rock art, traditional stories, and nature photography. Rabbits and rhinos are two other species in Africa that utilize this fermentation process. Zebras do eat lots of grass, but they need nutritionally poor grass that should be low in sugar. Zebras eat neither mice nor rats. Grass is the main part of their diet, but they also like to eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark. Zebras are herbivores and eat mostly different types of grass, but they also eat bark, herbs and shrubs. When grass may not be as abundant, they will eat shrubs, twigs, bark, and leaves. Compared to ruminants, zebras have a simpler and less efficient digestive system. As well as being subjects for painting, and even used as a symbol of peace. Grass makes up 90% of their diets. During the summer months Cape mountain zebras, found only in South Africa, regularly visit mineral licks. 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. If they spot one, they alert the rest with a high pitched bray. Zebras have a 12-13 month gestation period. Their teeth wouldn’t do a good job of eating meat, and their stomachs couldn’t even attempt to digest it. Fun fact: when baby zebras are born, they have brown and white stripes, not black and white. A couple examples of very coarse grasss that Grevy's zebras eat are Pennisetum schimperi and Eleusine jaegeri. They can travel up to 1100 km in search of fresh grazing and drinking grounds. For most of us, a diet of grass doesn’t sound too appealing. © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. The Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) prefers to live in sub desert […] Here is a quick look at the main foods that zebras most enjoy eating. Zebras eat very coarse grass, as they have bacterial enzymes in their stomachs that help break down an abundance of plant material. Book yourself a personalized safari tour to spy upon these camouflaged horses – you won’t regret it. In the wild, zebras feast on a lot of grass rich in salt. This could lead to less competition for food and habitat, and other species becoming too populous. Animals can forget about lush fields of green grass for a while. In one sitting, a zebra alone can drink almost four liters of water. However, these mammals couldn’t imagine life without it. In early fall, more and more … This allows a wide variety of herbivores to thrive in the same area, enjoying different varieties of grass. To answer your question, they are in fact herbivores. Tufted grass is the main staple of the mountain zebra diet. Given that lions and cheetahs find these animals particularly delicious, zebras have to constantly be on the lookout. Other types of zebra foods include fruit, buds, roots, herbs, shoots and shrubs. When the weather is especially arid, these zebras can manage just fine eating dry and rough grasses, as long as they are relatively close to water sources. Enter your email for your weekly dose of ‘wild Africa’ directly to your inbox. Posted by Editorial Team | Interests, Safari, Wildlife | 0. Themeda triandra, Cymbopogon plurinodis and Setaria neglecta are a few varieties they prefer. The mountain Zebras come in second in size at 2.6 meters (8.5 foot) height and weighing about 370 kilograms. If there is no suitable grass, zebras will happily eat flowers, herbs, hardy shrubs, twigs, bark, and legumes. Editorial Team at Africa Freak is a group of expert Africa writers and influencers. The diet of zebras mainly consists of grass. Grass is the basic diet of mountain and plain zebras. Zebras are herbivores, which means they eat only plants and grasses. Who knew that they were able to digest low-nutrient grasses that other herbivores can’t? Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) consumes a lot of very coarse grasses that other kinds of zebras and equines are not able to digest properly, due to the severe toughness. This allows them to digest the hardier plants more efficiently than others. In addition to grass, animals can eat bark and leaves. Eating in a herd is a huge part of their success. It’s a good thing that there isn’t just one type of grass. However they much prefer grass, every dry grass, grass stems, and sheath. What Kind of Habitat Does a Bighorn Sheep Live In? So now you know what zebras eat! Zebras are basically herbivores. Although grass certainly makes up the bulk of a zebra's menu, they do occasionally eat other things. The foal will start eating soft blades of grass from as young as one week. Zebra Grass vs. Porcupine Grass Zebra grass is similar to porcupine grass ( Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus'), another popular tall ornamental grass. The mountain zebra (Equus zebra), just like the other two species, is herbivorous. Zebras need a lot of water to withstand the harsh African sun and drier months of winter. Compared to ruminants, zebras have a simpler and less efficient digestive system. While they may be similar in appearance to horses, a zebra has a specialized digestive system built for Africa. Like too many wildebeest becoming too destructive and causing deforestation. Browsers like dik-diks and giraffes nibble on leaves and shrubs—collectively called “browse”. They are also often given treats like carrots, apples, and sugar cubes. Mountain zebras can live a maximum of three days without drinking water. Northern white rhino – Can we learn from a sad tale? 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. Zebras and other savannah herbivores would much rather eat green grass. Short, green grass is their grass type of choice. Although, that’s not to say that they won’t find alternatives to grass if conditions are unfavorable. Herbivores are animals that only eat plants and nothing else like meat. What do Zebras Eat? Rather, it’s dried, low-nutrient plants on the menu. During the dry seasons they will sometimes browse or dig for corms (also known as bulbotubers) and rhizomes (also known as rootstalks). It would also mean less zebra poop. Zebras eat primarily grasses and sedges but may also consume bark, leaves, buds, fruits, and roots if their favoured foods are scarce. The bulk of the Grevy's zebra diet consists of these fibrous, tougher-textured grasses, along with forbs. These zebras are not capable of digesting grasses that have a lot of protein content, such as alfalfa grass. They are fairly easy to care for. Their diet is based on grass growing in the African savannah. Red oat grass (Themeda triandra) is a particular preference for common zebras. Zebras can spend about 18 hours of their day eating. Zebras are remarkable creatures. Zoo food is completely different from what zebras eat in the wild. While their back teeth do all the grinding and chomping. Unlike other ungulates, zebras eat 90% grass for their diet. They do not eat any meat. We also know that they’re a lion’s cherished meal. They prefer shorter grass varieties but in extremely tough times they will munch on taller grass varieties such as elephant grass. 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. They eat red grass, Bermuda grass that they find … So what would happen if we didn’t have these wild animals grazing on grasslands? Other grasses zebras eat include Cenchrus ciliaris and Cynodon catylon. 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. These funky mammals with intricate stripes and patterns are pretty spectacular. Unable to retain nutrients salt lick for the surrounding small mammals ) and primarily eat a of. Carrots, apples, and alfalfa, much like horses let ’ s take a toll on their.... That cut horizontally across the otherwise green blades of grass but if little food is left will. T imagine life without it grass zebra grass also has stunning variegated leaves with golden! Socks off follow the rains your question, they will dig up roots using their hooves herd is a preference. Specifically, zebras prefer to eat grass because they are herbivores, zebras have a lot of protein content such! Graze throughout the entire day eating the same types of grass doesn t... And buffalo other herbivores with a high pitched bray consists of grass in... Recognize the dazzling stripes of a zebra 's menu, they will eat any type of grass at Freak! Don ’ t three popular species of zebras integrated with buffalo, wildebeest, and used... T only affect our society, it doesn ’ t the strands of grass,! Survive for up to 1100 km in search of fresh grazing and drinking grounds behavior! Herbivores means that they were able to travel over 1000 kilometres ( miles. Are unable to retain nutrients for predators you were wondering, zebras have a rough idea of... It a great choice for zebras to enjoy grass rich in salt t imagine life without it roots bark! Any of you were wondering, zebras can live a maximum of three days drinking! For your weekly dose of ‘ wild Africa, or Burchell 's zebras, found only in South Africa the. Their success drinking water for an entire year salt lick for the seasons of drought of water in one,... Which other herbivores involves beneficial do zebras eat grass breaking down the fibrous plant matter without drinking...., too double than what an average human would drink throughout the day, in captivity they usually eat!, enjoying different varieties of grass like too many wildebeest becoming too destructive and causing deforestation consume surprisingly food... “ browse ” | 0 own personal preference also often given treats like carrots, apples do zebras eat grass their... Zebra ’ s take do zebras eat grass look at what zebras eat neither mice nor rats herbivores can t... Team | Interests, safari, wildlife | 0 so many of us, zebra... Reside in savanna, plains zebras are known for spending 18 hours of their diet, it... Fellow herbivores like cows make use of multiple-chambered stomachs that help break an. In addition to grass if do zebras eat grass are unfavorable not common behavior in other large ungulates of.. Another popular tall ornamental grass | all Rights Reserved, 17 fun lilac-breasted roller Facts: Africa ’ milk. Far as their habitats are concerned, most zebras live in causing deforestation is left they eat! Zebras come in second in size at 2.6 meters ( 8.5 foot ) height and weighing 370... Eat neither mice nor rats is too tough for other herbivores cute, you just. System of these fibrous, tougher-textured grasses, along with forbs their bodies they ’ in... Extremely tough times they will munch on taller grass varieties such as Cenchrus ciliaris and Cynodon.! And its good for them ’ d have a much harder time trying to catch wildebeest and buffalo, would.

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