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Zebras in Texas?!?!?

Zebras in Texas?!?!?
Photo Information
Copyright: Angelina Deans (angybone) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1047 W: 14 N: 2372] (7684)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-18
Categories: Mammals
Camera: OLYMPUS E-500, Olympus Zuiko 40-150 f3.5-5.6
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-05-19 9:06
Viewed: 4453
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Yesterday coming home from a neighboring town, I passed a huge pasture dotted with gazelles and zebras. This particular piece of property is a couple hundred acres. I"m not really sure why there are zebras there or what they're being used for. One rumor is that zebras are mean enough to protect livestock from coyotes. I'm still searching to learn the truth. My theory is that some people with enough money just like to have things that nobody else has.

Swahili Name: Punda Milia
Scientific Name: Burchell's zebra (Equus burchellii); Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi)
Size: 45 to 55 inches at the shoulder (Burchell's); 50 to 60 inches (Grevy's)
Weight: Burchell's: 485 to 550 pounds (Burchell's); 770 to 990 pounds (Grevy's)
Lifespan: 40 years in captivity
Habitat: Woodlands to open plains
Diet: Herbivores
Gestation: 12 months (Burchell's); 13 months (Grevy's)
Predators: Lions, hyenas, hunting dogs, leopards, cheetahs

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. The most numerous and widespread species in the east is Burchell's, also known as the common or plains zebra. The other is Grevy's zebra, named for Jules Grevy, a president of France in the 1880s who received one from Abyssinia as a gift, and now found mostly in northern Kenya. (The third species, Equus zebra, is the mountain zebra, found in southern and southwestern Africa.)

Physical Characteristics
The long-legged Grevy's zebra, the biggest of the wild equids, is taller and heavier than the Burchell's, with a massive head and large ears.

Zebras 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 traveling 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 (usually no farther than 20 miles away) 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?

* Romans called Grevy's zebras 'hippotigris' and trained them to pull two-wheeled carts for exhibition in circuses.
* At first glance zebras in a herd might all look alike, but their stripe patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints are in man. Scientists can identify individual zebras by comparing patterns, stripe widths, color and scars. (from http://www.outtoafrica.nl/animals/engzebra.html?zenden=2&subsoort_id=1&bestemming_id=1

garyfudge, SkyF, eqshannon, lawhill, livios, jmirah, nglen, wgreis, Luis52, pablominto has marked this note useful
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Hey Angelina,

Zebras, no can't be. That'll be horses in pyjamas. LOL! :-O

Old ones aren't always the best then.

Actually this is a great shot though. Lovely expressions and so nice to pose so well. Great composition.


  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-19 9:16]

Hi Angelina,
great shot of this duo.
POV and eye contact are fabulous.
Excellent lighting, which brings out the details very well.

Wow! What a stunning shot. Can it be that you caught these two which really plays tricks on the eyes with all the stripes. We tell small children that zebras have stripes...not sure what they think, but this is a case where the picture is worth more than any words...it is strangely poetic. And to think it is in Texas...and not a zoo. Well I hope that's ok..as long as they have food for survival.

This is Nation Geographic stuff Angel!
Wilderness of the Western US

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-05-19 9:59]

Hi Angelina,
Wonderful shot of the two zebras. Excellent eye contact, sharp details and perfect natural light. I like the symmetry both of them presents. The green tree in the OOF BG works well. Very nicely composed and presented. Kudos.

Hello Angelina
A donít now how you align this to zebras but you did, Great composition Nice colors very sharp, on perfect BG. Good job Regards/Lawhill

You got these zebras in perfect formation Angy! Good call in having the trees for a background as the sky behind them would have really weakened the shot.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2007-05-19 12:25]

Angelina, great pair, great job.

I like exposure and poses.

Great pov and composition.

  • Great 
  • jmirah Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 509 W: 5 N: 1141] (4687)
  • [2007-05-19 13:34]

WOW!!! It's like an optical illusion...It's hard to focus on just one...It's like I'm seeing double...Is this what they mean by "double exposure"...Ha Ha...Great shot...Excellent framing and POV...A photo that would make elephantino jealous :)

Another very informative note


  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-05-19 13:52]

Hello Angelina , A Very great shot from this duo , great sharpnes colours details pov and eye contact.good job ,tfs Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-05-19 13:55]

The lines are amazing in this photo. Great composition with perfect POV. Razor sharp focus and outstanding exposure of the blacks and whites. Very nice! Not something I would expect to see in Texas.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-05-19 16:14]

Hi Angelina. A very good shot ,The sharp focus and fine detail is very good indeed. with great colours. a nice POV and DOF. well done TFS. great notes to.

Hello Angelina.

Excellent image, nice composition and colors,

Jose Luis.

Hi Angelina,
wonderful composition. It's really a decisive moment. Colors and contrast very good. Note perfect.
It's going to my favorites!

great pose !
good composition, beautiful shot, no , wonderful... great ! excellent :D
good good job, well done

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-05-20 20:23]

Hola Angelina.- Muy bonita foto de este par de Zebras, me agrada su pose y los finos colores. Luis52.

Hello Angelina,
This is a great double portrait!
Amazing to see how coordinated the movements are, perfectly synchronized...
Good details and a pleasant composition, and a funny background story!
Pablo -

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