Zebra - Singapore by Ralph de Zilva


Nikon D700 & Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 lens

Zebras are several species of African equids (horse family) united by their distinctive black and white stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and asses, zebras have never been truly domesticated.
There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy’s zebra and the mountain zebra. The plains zebra and the mountain zebra belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, but Grevy’s zebra is the sole species of subgenus Dolichohippus. The latter resembles an ass, to which it is closely related, while the former two are more horse-like. All three belong to the genus Equus, along with other living equids.
The unique stripes of zebras make these among the animals most familiar to people. They occur in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains, and coastal hills. However, various anthropogenic factors have had a severe impact on zebra populations, in particular hunting for skins and habitat destruction. Grevy’s zebra and the mountain zebra are endangered. While plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the quagga, went extinct in the late 19th century, though they have now been rebred from zebra DNA.

Zebras evolved among the Old World horses within the last 4 million years. Grevy’s zebras (and perhaps also Mountain Zebras) are with asses and donkeys in a separate lineage from the other zebra lineages. This means either that striped equids evolved more than once, or that common ancestors of zebras and asses were striped and only zebras retained the stripes. Extensive stripes are posited to have been of little use to equids that live in low densities in deserts (like asses and some horses) or ones that live in colder climates with shaggy coats and annual shading (like some horses).
Fossils of an ancient equid were discovered in the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Hagerman, Idaho. It was named the Hagerman horse with a scientific name of Equus simplicidens. It is believed to have been similar to the Grevy’s zebra. The animals had stocky zebra-like bodies and short, narrow, donkey-like skulls. Grevy’s zebra also has a donkey-like skull. The Hagerman horse is also called the American zebra or Hagerman zebra.

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I have always had a love of capturing images and in my early teens took many photographs on my little Kodak camera. I loved the wild open spaces and bird life in particular and longed to be able to be an accomplished photographer. It took ill health and a forced early retirement to re-kindle this love of photography. I am a self-taught amateur photographer who has had no formal training. I take great pride and joy in my work and these days have the time to pursue this wonderful hobby.

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  • supergold
    supergoldover 3 years ago

    a beautiful zebra with as always a very interesting narrative

  • Many thanks Fred for your comment and fav. Much appreciated.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Julie  White
    Julie Whiteover 3 years ago

    Awesome capture Ralph.

  • Thanks so much Julie for the nice comment and fav.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 3 years ago

  • Thanks Ray.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • dedmanshootn
    dedmanshootnover 3 years ago

    nicely shot ralph

  • Thanks very much Dave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 3 years ago

    When I was a child I always called the beautiful Zebra a horse in PJ’s, wonderful capture Ralph

  • They are all related, so you are right in a way. Thanks for your comment Andrea.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Anna Ryan
    Anna Ryanover 3 years ago

    Awww so cute. Lovely work! :)

  • Thank you very much An, great to hear from you.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • vette
    vetteover 3 years ago

    One of my all time favorite animals Ralph. You have captured this image so wonderfully showing great sharp focus and eye pleasing pov. Susan

  • Thank you so much Susan for such a lovely comment and fav.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • virginian
    virginianover 3 years ago

    Wonderful notes and capture.

  • Thank for the lovely comment and fav Judy.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • BlueMoonRose
    BlueMoonRosealmost 3 years ago

    Got to add this splendid shot of my favourite African animal to my Favourites!

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