International Zebra Day is observed on January 31 every year to create awareness about the need to protect the wild animal. Zebras are the most iconic of all Africa's grazing animals. They are generally found in the semi-desert areas of Kenya and Ethiopia other than the hilly region in Namibia, Angola and South Africa. One peculiar feature of the animal is their black and white stripes all over their body. Generally, zebras weigh between 400 to 850 pounds depending on the species. The Grevy's zebra is the largest wild member of the horse family. On International Zebra Day 2020, we have compiled some interesting facts about zebras. Viral ‘Two-Headed Zebra’ Pic From Tanzania Has Left People Confused! (View Pics)

There are various theories about why zebra have stripes. Earlier it was believed that the stripes were to protect the animal and become with grasses as animals try to attack. But in a 2016 research, it was found that the stripes aren't' for camouflage as by the time predators can see zebra stripes, they have already heard or smell their prey. Another popular theory states that the stripes are to keep zebras cool. Rare Zebra Foal With Polka Dots Due to 'Melanin Disorder' Spotted in Kenyan National Reserve (See Pictures) 

Check out fun facts about zebras below.

  • Every zebra has a different set of black and white stripes, just like human fingerprints. Under their striped coat is black skin.
  • There are different types of zebras with mountain zebras having vertical stripes on their neck and torso while horizontal stripes cover their legs.
  • Zebras run from side to side following a zig-zag pattern while being chased by a predator to make it difficult for the predator.
  • A mother zebra keeps her foal away from all other zebras for two or three days after birth until the foal can recognise her scent, voice and appearance.
  • A group of zebras is called a 'zeal'.
  • Zebras stand up and sleep. It can run up to 65 km/h or 40 mph.
  • Zebras are one of the few mammals that are believed to see in colour. However, it is said it cannot see the colour orange.

According to Science Daily research, the stripes are used to control body temperature. As the black stripes heat up faster than the white stripes, the zebra has a secret heat-release mechanism. They erect the hair in the black stripes thus releasing extra heat during the hottest part of the day. Another interesting fact about zebras is that the foals can get up immediately after their birth and walk for 20 minutes! And rightly like you always thought zebra crossings (pedestrian crossings) are named after the black and white stripes of zebras.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 31, 2020 08:30 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website