Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

Wishing all my "visitors" a HAPPY EASTER

(photographed at Grootbos in the Gansbaai area, Western Cape)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Zebra Related

Until "further notice" or until I receive/discover more "clarfying" info about the different species/types of zebra, I'm going to end the "debate" today with a reminder that horses & donkeys belong to the same genus - Equus - as zebra, BUT all are different species.

So in contrast to Equus burchelli (= Plains zebra with several subtypes!), Equus zebra (= Mountain zebra) or Equus greyvi (= Desert zebra), Equus (ferus) caballus refers to a horse - which developed through the ages from a multi-toed creature to a large one-toed animal.

Zebra are said to be stocky & horse-like in appearance, although zebra ears are larger & rounder than a horse's. However like horses & other ungulates (hoofed mammals), zebra can turn their ears almost in any direction. The word "zebra" is derived from the Old Portugese "zevra", meaning "wild ass" = Equus assinus.

It's also said that the "structure" of a zebra is more pony-like (= half leg + half body) - in contrast to most horses, which are longer in the leg than the body.

However the Plains & Mountain zebra apparently are "closer" related to the horse than a donkey . . .

. . . whereas the Grevy's (= Desert) zebra is said to be more closely related to the donkey, mainly because they "share" large ears.

Cross-breeding between a horse & donkey (done because they are closely related) results in a mule, whereas a horse & zebra can also be cross-bred, as well as a donkey & zebra - resulting in a zonkey (or zebonkey).