<< Previous Next >>

Burchell's Zebra

Burchell's Zebra
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-12
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 200
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Theme(s): Juveniles [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2013-01-10 19:20
Viewed: 4298
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Burchell's Zebra / Equus burchellii

This photograph is one of many from my archives and was taken way back in 2009 while we where on holiday in the Kruger National Park.

Zebras have been featured quite often in the Trek Nature gallery, and the most of you have seen photos of them in abundance, but when I paged through my archives, actually looking for photos to share in the Birds of the Kruger series, I came across this image of a young zebra and decided to share it before I continue with the series on the Birds of the Kruger.

Zebras, horses and wild asses are all equids, long-lived animals that move quickly for their large size and have teeth built for grinding and cropping grass. Zebras have horselike bodies, but their manes are made of short, erect hair, their tails are tufted at the tip and their coats are striped.

Three species of zebra still occur in Africa, two of which are found in East Africa, but in total the three species includes nine different sub-species. The most numerous and widespread species in the east is Burchell's (6 sub-species), also known as the common or plains zebra. The other is Grevy's zebra, named for Jules Grevy, a president of France in the 1880's who received one from Abyssinia as a gift. The third species, Equus zebra, is the mountain zebra (2 sub-species), found in southern and south-western Africa.

Physical Characteristics
They have shiny coats that dissipate over 70 percent of incoming heat, and some scientists believe the stripes help the animals withstand intense solar radiation. The black and white stripes are a form of camouflage called disruptive coloration that breaks up the outline of the body. Although the pattern is visible during daytime, at dawn or in the evening when their predators are most active, zebras look indistinct and may confuse predators by distorting true distance.

The stripes on Grevy's zebras are more numerous and narrow than those of the plains zebra and do not extend to the belly. In all zebra species, the stripes on the forequarters form a triangular pattern; Grevy's have a similar pattern on the hindquarters, while others have a slanted or horizontal pattern.

Burchell's zebras inhabit savannas, from treeless grasslands to open woodlands; they sometimes occur in tens of thousands in migratory herds on the Serengeti plains. Grevy's zebras are now mainly restricted to parts of northern Kenya. Although they are adapted to semi-arid conditions and require less water than other zebra species, these zebras compete with domestic livestock for water and have suffered heavy poaching for their meat and skins.

Family groups are stable members maintaining strong bonds over many years. Mutual grooming, where zebras stand together and nibble the hair on each other's neck and back, helps develop and preserve these bonds. Family members look out for one another if one becomes separated from the rest, the others search for it. The group adjusts its travelling pace to accommodate the old and the weak.

The females within a family observe a strict hierarchical system. A dominant mare always leads the group, while others follow her in single file, each with their foals directly behind them. The lowest ranking mare is the last in line. Although the stallion is the dominant member of the family, he operates outside the system and has no special place in the line.

Zebras are avid grazers. Both Burchell's and Grevy's zebras are in constant search of green pastures. In the dry season, they can live on coarse, dry grass only if they are within a short distance of water holes.

Caring for the Young
When a foal is born the mother keeps all other zebras (even the members of her family) away from it for 2 or 3 days, until it learns to recognize her by sight, voice and smell. While all foals have a close association with their mothers, the male foals are also close to their fathers. They leave their group on their own accord between the ages of 1 and 4 years to join an all-male bachelor group until they are strong enough to head a family.

Zebras are important prey for lions and hyenas, and to a lesser extent for hunting dogs, leopards and cheetahs. When a family group is attacked, the members form a semicircle, face the predator and watch it, ready to bite or strike should the attack continue. If one of the family is injured the rest will often encircle it to protect it from further attack.

Did you know?
At first glance zebras in a herd might all look alike, but their stripe patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints are in humans. Scientists can identify individuals by comparing patterns, stripe widths, colour and scars. Source

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

Hormon_Manyer, wahclella, maaciejka, ramthakur, CeltickRanger, McQueenca, anel, KOMSIS has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To vanderschelden: Correctionvanderschelden 1 01-19 10:07
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Good morning Anna,
Probably zebras have been often featured on TrekNature, but I always love to watch animals with moirée effect. :-) Beautiful composition, sharpness and exposure control, not least nice shallow DoF which isolates the zebra so well from the rather uninteresting background. Perhaps the colors are slightly in the blue direction, but it's just a personal opinion. Great job overall, congrats and tfs.
Best regards, László

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-01-10 19:44]

Hello Anna,
Even though as you stated, Zebras have been shown many times in the past, I have to say I never tire of viewing them.
Just look at those vivid unique contrasting stripes. They somehow quickly capture your attention and then like some type of addictive maze, holds your gaze for quite some time as you study each individualized pattern.
This young colt is just so beautiful as it stands proudly with raised mane and dares you to take a picture. I'm glad you did, and more thankful you decided to post it for all to enjoy viewing.

Hello Anna,
This is one of the most striking images of a Zebra I have ever seen! Each line is perfectly illustrated and one can see why if they are in a group running they become as a single entity flying through the grass. They are a beautiful species, sometimes wishing they were domesticated, but freedom reigns over my own bell's tone.

Hello Anna,
interesting animal - unusual for me (apart from zoo :)).
Perfect point of view. Excellent sharpness. Very good presentation and interesting note.
Thanks for sharing,

Ciao Anna, great capture of superb creature, lovely optical effect on skin, excellent clarity, splendid light and wonderful natural colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-01-11 1:05]

Hi Ann,perfect pose and nice capture of this beautiful zebra,i like the very bright details on the body and its stripes,very nice tipical scenary of the Kruger too,i like it! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2013-01-11 3:10]

Hello Anna,
What a cute photo of this little zebra. Lovely pose and composition. Great sharpness, beautiful natural colours, also in the background.

hello Anna
super good sharpness picture of this lovely zebra
good details and nice colours
great shot
thankas greeting lou

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2013-01-11 4:38]

Hello Anna,
A nice one from your archives, depicting a Burchell's Zebra. The lateral POV is great and makes the zebra shine against the dry vegetation in the BG. The flying black bird (a glossy starling?) is an interesting addition to this pleasing composition.
Thanks and have a good weekend,

From time to time, you have regaled us with fantastic pictures taken during your visit to KNP, Anna, and this is yet another gem from it.
The Zebra looks beautiful in its natural surroundings.
I admire the true earth colours in this picture.
Thanks and regards.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2013-01-11 5:19]

Hello Anna
Excellent closed up I also never get tire of looking at good picture of them.Excelelnt point of view and razorsharp image.Beautiful natural colours and excellent text.
TFS Michel

Hello Anna

You present us a very beautiful photo of a Zebra
from your archives, fine POV and framing with a
view of his habitat at the background, TFS


Hello Anna,
an excellent shot. great clarity and composition.
Zebras is so beautiful that we are not tiring to see it.
best wishes,

Hello Anna,
Outstanding photograph, outstanding sharpness, excellent composition, outstanding background.

  • Great 
  • IronM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 3 N: 345] (2608)
  • [2013-01-11 8:49]

Hi Anna,
beautiful photo of this young zebra,nice composition,
beautiful details,lighting !
Regards !

Hi Anna
He must have been curious to allow you to get so close. They are such an unique animal. You have captured him with a good a POV, great detail and composition.
Thanks for sharing
Best regards

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2013-01-11 19:48]

Hello Anna!
Wow!!!!It is a wonderful shot, indeed!Great POV, amazing sharpness,focus and colors...I love this pic!So well done!TFS
Best wishes from,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-01-12 2:02]

Hello Anna
what a lovely presentatiln again. The view is so pretty with he zebra well isolated in its tonal surrojndings. the details are splendid.
How exciting watching the animals in your place.
I like this minimalist view that immediately attract the view...no matter how many times you keep on seeing it.


Another beautiful African animal Anna! Beautiful photo too! Good composition, wonderful lighting and very good sharpness.

Ciao Anna. Perfect details and sharp against the wild environment. Exciting graphic results indeed.


Hello Anna,
Nice capture with perfect details of patterns and sharpness,very well balanced composition with a lovely natural Back ground.
TFS and my regards,

Hallo Anna,
Indeed a beautiful defined capture of this Burchell's Zebra. Excellent sharpness and detail taken from a good POV. Overall a great composition. Excellent work my friend.
Beste wense vir 2013 en mag julle geseen wees met baie goeie gesondheid. Baie dankie vir jou kommentaar op my laaste foto.

nice young one, greetings Ori

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-01-19 5:49]

Hello Anna,
Very cute this little zebra hidden in your archives... A touching picture of a young life in the wild.. it was worth to present it here.
Have a nice weekend

Hello Anna,
Nice archive image. Quite a young animal depicted. Zebras are beautiful animals and I'm happy each time you I spot them; so thanks for sharing your image!

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2013-01-21 8:11]

Hallo Anna,
Very good photo of this zebra ..
Very good sharpness and beautiful naturel colors. Nice composition and POV too.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2013-02-02 13:26]

Hello Anna,
Long time no see!
Love this shot of the young zebra!
Your POV brings out the intricate pattern of the stripes in beautiful detail and great sharpness.
He is quite a specimen, with that gorgeous mane, and the bold stripes.
He seems aware of your presence and is definitely posing. : )

Hello Anna,

You're capturing well this animal by a good composition, a good focus and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and inpressive to see the lovely Burchell's zebras with the striped pattern of black and white. It's so beautiful for the spectacle of appearing on the plain with bush. This is one of the favorite animals of mine.

Kind regards,

Calibration Check