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Are Horses And Zebras Related

author
James Smith
• Monday, 09 November, 2020
• 49 min read

Get ready for some amazing facts about horses and zebras ! They are all living in Africa (no zebras on other continents except in zoos) and they belong to the “Equine family of the Equus genus”.

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Contents

It was very common in South Africa and it was often described as a horse and zebra hybrid. You cannot train and teach a zebra to be ridden like a horse.

We find a very different type of animal with the zebra when it comes to domestication. This all has to do with the herd mentality among horses which would don’t find to the same extent with zebras.

Among a group of horses, we will always have the leading alpha male which is the leader of the flock. Zebras live more like individuals than in herds, and they do not like to be managed.

They do move around in groups but that’s more because there are obvious benefits than because they follow the leader of the flock. As we looked at above, the horse’s legs are longer and it also enables it to run quite a lot faster than the zebra.

The seating area of the horse where you mount the saddle is also very different build on the zebra. Zebras don’t have the wither which is where the neck of the horse begins.

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Some people believe that zebras are faster than horses, but they are wrong. As you can see below horses are faster than zebras and there’s a good physical explanation for that.

This is a clear physical difference between the horse and the zebra. Zebras are typically around 5 feet (1.5 meters) from the shoulder to the hoof.

The horse, on the other hand, is more like 5.5 feet (1,68 meters) from the shoulder to the hoof. Horses have long beautiful manes that can be braided in many ways.

As you can see from the picture above, the mane of the zebra is standing up and looks much more like that of a Donkey. We all know that a horse will neigh and you can also hear this sound among a flock of zebras.

The zebra can also produce a barking-type sound that is more similar to that of a smaller dog. The horse has the perfect back for mounting a saddle.

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There is a tiny bump where the horse withers is but nothing to support the saddle or keep the rider in place. The dip is also absent and that makes it very hard to ride the zebra even if they had the temper for it.

We will look a lot more at why it’s almost impossible to domesticate and train a zebra in the next section. They will both kick a fellow stallion if they are provoked They both have hoofs that are similar They sleep standing up.

They are both herbivores and will eat primarily herbs, leaves, and grass in the wild. That the main thing there is to say about similarities between zebras and horses.

Other than that, they have an obvious list of commonalities when you look at how they are built and how they move. They are obviously closely related, as we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

Zebras are closer related to horses than donkeys. They all belong to the Equus family tree and zebras are directly related to horses whereas donkeys are one branch farther away from horses than zebras are.

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Most racehorses and draft horses are a bit bigger than zebras. So it’s quite hard to tell whether they are intelligent enough to do much else than just living their life on the African Savannah.

Remember, they are very aggressive and people have not managed to domesticate them in any way or to ride them. The Equine family again belongs to the Perissodactyla order, that includes Tapirs and Rhinos as well.

Horses and zebras have some similarities that are hard to miss. Horses are E. Catullus and the plains zebras are E. Purcell.

The horses' anatomy helps them speed away from predators and provides them with great balance. Zebras are generally slower but have better stamina and the ability to zigzag as they run.

Zebras on the other hand have a solid tail and a short mane that sticks up. Zebras tend to have larger, rounder ears than horses, providing them with excellent hearing.

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These species probably split close to 4 million years ago, and both animals have evolved in different ways that help them to survive in their surroundings. So the answer to the question “are zebras and horses related is yes, they come from a common ancestor.

However, like most hybrids, the offspring created, the ‘horse’, is sterile and cannot reproduce. In fact, the gestation period can even change depending on the species.

Did you know that you can breed a zebra and a horse to produce a hybrid? The resulting animal is called a “Horse” if it is a cross between a horse and a zebra.

The cross between a Zebra and a pony is more commonly referred to as a “Zone”. Typically, horse’s are more difficult to train than a regular horse or pony.

Typically, a monkey inherits the donkey coloration with the stripes from the zebra parent. Monkeys have long ears, like regular donkeys, but have more characteristics from the zebra mixed in as well.

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Another concern with training wild Zebra is that they can be extremely dangerous. In the wild, the natural thing for prey animals is to fight or flee.

With the zebra, if they are contained in a small space like a corral, the fight option becomes much more exaggerated, and they may attack by biting, kicking or stomping. While the wild mustang horse does have similar instincts, far fewer of them would choose fight over flee.

If you look at a zebra, you will notice their flat back and Mohawk looking mane. One of the interesting things about zebra is that they are all white with black stripes.

You should expect that the taming process for a zebra would be much more difficult than that for a wild mustang. A Zebra is much more prone to fight than flee when confined to a small corral.

That being said, a zebra foal who grows up surrounded by humans is less likely to be scared and try to attack out of fear. Dominance may still play a part but their fear level should be greatly reduced when they are born in captivity and handled regularly.

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In captivity, however, horses and zebra can often live off of the same type of diet. For captive zebra and horses, a good quality diet consists of hay or pasture, vitamins, minerals and salt.

In fact, a horse and zebra can share the same pasture and receive much of the same nutrition. Diet should be customized to each individual but the basic elements are the same for both horses and zebra.

Typically, the training is more difficult and has to be approached by a trainer with skill in order to work through the natural instincts, but the zebra hybrid is capable of functioning just like a regular horse, with the right training and temperament. Running in a zigzag motion helps prey animals to confuse and evade predators.

Zebra herds will often move in a zigzag pattern to reduce the chances of being taken by a predator like a lion or cheetah. I hope you enjoyed this look at some facts about zebras, donkeys and horses.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although they are cousins and share many features in common, they can easily be differentiated by the color, body, size, sound, speed, diet, and domestication.

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The ancient ancestor of the Equus genus is estimated to be 4 million years before present. Equus comprises 7 living species: E. ferns, E. Africans sinus, E. heinous, E. King, E. quanta, E. zebra and E. gravy.

Since zebras and horses belong to the Equine Family, they both are hoofed mammals. A zebra has black-and-white stripe covering the body which is arranged uniquely for each individual.

You may think that zebras run faster than horses because of the dangerous environment they are living in. To survive, intelligent zebras run in a zigzag manner when being chased by predators.

Also, their temper is hard to be predictable and ready to fight back to defense themselves. Although these animals are herbivores, a horse’s diet is specially based on grass.

For me, I remember I used to wonder why people did not ride zebras but always horses, luckily I knew the answer soon after then. Both zebras and horses belong to the Equine family, but they are a different species.

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In fact, there are three different species of zebra: plains, mountain and Gravy’s. Just like horses, zebras are herd animals and spend most of their day grazing.

A Zebra’s unique black and white striped coat pattern is thought to be a natural defense against predators. Additionally, due to selective breeding, horses are much easier to ride and are more tamed than zebras.

Baffin Leslie, an 18-year-old dwarf riding a zebra called Jimmy across a road in Berkshire, England. Zebras tend to be much smaller than horses, generally ranging in height from 10-13 hands high.

A horse below 14.2 hands is generally called a pony (although this isn’t always the case). They have Mohawk manes, short tails, flat backs and long ears, making them more like donkeys than horses.

Zebras tend to be more aggressive and unpredictable than horses, so it is not always practical or humane to tame them. Not only are they more difficult to work with than horses, they do not have an ideal build for being ridden due to their flatter backs.

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Famed American explorer, filmmaker and author OSA Johnson rode zebras on multiple occasions while travelling through Africa with her husband during the early 1900s. Horse trainer and veterinarian Horace Hayes travelled extensively for his work with wife Alice.

During their time in Africa in the late 1800s, Horace trained a zebra for his wife to ride. Alice claimed the zebra was too headstrong and would not make a good mount for a lady rider.

A zebra and horse mix is called a horse, which can also be referred to as a zeroed. All the extant zebra species have black-and-white stripes and a mane that stands up stiffly (rather like a Mohican or Mohawk haircut).

The names of the resulting offspring in English are also blends: a Zedong is a cross between a male zebra and a female donkey, while a horse is the offspring of a male zebra and a female horse. Zebras are actually related to horses, not cats.

Crossing them produces a sterile hybrid just as occurs when breeding horses and donkeys. Zeroed A horse in an 1899 photograph, “Romulus: one-year-old”, from J. C. Wart's The Pencil Experiments Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalian Order: Perissodactyla Family: Equine Tribe: Equine Genus: Equus Species: A zeroed is the offspring of any cross between a zebra and any other equine to create a hybrid.

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Offspring of a donkey sire and zebra dam called a donors or zebra Ginny and offspring of a horse sire and a zebra dam called a zebra do exist, but are rare and are usually infertile. Charles Darwin noted several zebra hybrids in his works.

Many times, when zebras are crossbred, they develop some form of dwarfism. Breeding of different branches of the equine family, which does not occur in the wild, generally results in infertile offspring.

The combination of sire and dam also affects the offspring phenotype. A horse is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a horse mare.

This cross is also called a zebra, febrile, or zebra mule. The rarer reverse pairing is sometimes called a zebra, cobra, Sebring, secret, or zebra Ginny.

A zone is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a pony mare. Medium-sized pony mares are preferred to produce riding zones, but zebras have been crossed with smaller pony breeds such as the Shetland, resulting in so-called “Wetlands”.

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A cross between a zebra and a donkey is known as a zen key, monkey, (a term also used for donkeys in Tijuana, Mexico, painted as zebras for tourists to pose with them in souvenir photos) , or a Zedong. Donkeys are closely related to zebras and both animals belong to the horse family.

In South Africa, they occur where zebras and donkeys are found in proximity to each other. Like mules and hints, however, they are generally genetically unable to breed, due to an odd number of chromosomes disrupting meiosis.

Living equips show wide variation in the number of chromosomes, ranging from a diploid number of 32 chromosomes in the mountain zebra to 66 in Przewalski's horse. This is due to several chromosomal fusion and fission events during the evolution of equips.

The chromosome difference makes female hybrids poorly fertile and male hybrids generally sterile, due to a phenomenon called Haldane's rule. And just as female mules and whinnies only very rarely produce offspring the same appears to be true of Negroids.

Only ONE case of such a mare was reported : The zeroed mare of a zebra mare x draft horse stallion produced a foal when she was bred back to her sire but the foal died of lightning, and she did not survive it much longer. Zebras are more closely related to wild asses (a group which includes donkeys) than to horses.

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The horse lineage diverged from other equips an estimated 4.0 – 4.7 million years ago; zebras and asses diverged an estimated 1.69–1.99 million years ago. Negroids physically resemble their nonzebra parent, but are striped like a zebra.

If the nonzebra parent was patterned (such as a roan, Appaloosa, pinto / paint, piebald, or skewbald), this pattern might be passed down to the zeroed, in which case the stripes are usually confined to non-white areas. The alternative name “golden zebra” relates to the interaction of zebra striping and a horse's bay or chestnut color to give a zebra-like black-on-bay or black-on-chestnut pattern that superficially resembles the extinct quanta.

Horses combine the zebra striping overlaid on colored areas of the hybrid's coat. The Tobago (the most common white modifier found in the horse) directly interacts with the horse coat to give the white markings.

This effect is seen in the zeroed named Close (a zebra rather than a horse) born in Stukenbrock, Germany, in 2007 to a zebra mare called Eclipse and a stallion called Ulysses. However, a zeroed is usually more inclined to be temperamental than a purebred horse and can be difficult to handle.

Zebras, while not usually very large, are extremely strong and aggressive. In 1815, Lord Morton mated a quanta stallion to a chestnut Arabian mare.

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This provoked the interest of Costar Wart, Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh (1882–1927) and a keen geneticist. Wart crossed a zebra stallion with pony mares to investigate the theory of telegony, or paternal impression.

In Origin of Species (1859), Charles Darwin mentioned four colored drawings of hybrids between the ass and zebra. In Lord Morton's famous hybrid from a chestnut mare and male quanta, the hybrid, and even the pure offspring subsequently produced from the mare by a black Arabian sire, were much more plainly barred across the legs than is even the pure quanta.

In his book The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, Darwin described a hybrid ass-zebra specimen in the British Museum as being dappled on its flanks. He also mentioned a “triple hybrid, from a bay mare, by a hybrid from a male ass and female zebra” displayed at London Zoo.

During the South African War, the Boers crossed Chapman's zebras with ponies, to produce animals for transport work, chiefly for hauling guns. A specimen was captured by British forces and presented to King Edward VII by Lord Kitchener, and was photographed by W. S. Bridge.

Gravy's zebra has been crossed with the Somali wild ass in the early 20th century. Horses were bred by the US government and reported in Genetics in Relation to Agriculture by E. B. Babcock and R. E. Clause (early 20th century), in an attempt to investigate inheritance and telegony.

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In 1973, a cross between a zebra and a donkey was foaled at the Jerusalem Zoo. In the 1970s, the Colchester Zoo in England bred Zedong, at first by accident and later to create a disease-resistant riding and draft animal.

As of 2010 one adult still remained at the tourist attraction of Groom bridge Place near Tun bridge Wells in Kent. Today, various Negroids are bred as riding and draft animals, and as curiosities in circuses and smaller zoos.

A horse (more accurately a zone) was born at Eden Ostrich World, Cambria, England, in 2001, after a zebra was left in a field with a Shetland pony. Usually, a zebra stallion is paired with a horse mare or donkey mare, but in 2005, a Burch ell's zebra named Allison produced a monkey called Alex sired by a donkey at Highland Plantation in the parish of Saint Thomas, Barbados.

Alex, born 21 April 2005, is apparently the first monkey in Barbados. In 2007, a stallion, Ulysses, and a zebra mare, Eclipse, produced a zebra named Close, displaying an unusually patchy color coating.

In July 2010, a monkey was born at the Estate Wildlife Preserve in Daylong, Georgia. Another zebra–donkey hybrid, like the Barbados monkey sired by a donkey, was born 3 July 2011 in Hailing Safari Park, Hailing, Xi amen, China.

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A monkey, IPO, was born 21 July 2013 in an animal reserve, in Florence, Italy. Thumb, the offspring of a zebra dam and a dwarf albino donkey sire, was born on 21 April 2014 in the zoo of Reynosa in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico.

More recently, in November 2018 at a farm in Somerset, a cross between a donkey stallion and a zebra mare was born. The male foal was described as a monkey by its owner and has been named Zippy.

On the 'commentary' on the DVD seasons of Viva La Bam, Tim Glob says, “If you send me a list of all the episodes where the horse is, I'll give you a dollar”. The 2007 movie I'm Reed Fish features a horse named Sabrina.

In the movie Racing Stripes, an animated horse appears in the alternate ending. He is the son of Stripes, a zebra stallion and Sandy, a gray Arabian mare.

Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels. In Roald Dahl's book Going Solo, several other characters, and he speculates on how nice it would be to own a horse, although they admit it would be difficult to train.

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The fantasy setting Glorantha has a magical fertile breed of horses crossed with zebras based on the city of Paris. The video game Red Dead Redemption has the “Zebra Donkey” available as a multiplayer mount, however this is a Mexican donkey painted to appear as a zebra, so is not an actual hybrid breed.

Retrieved 20 April 2010. It could be a horse perhaps, a phony, or maybe a Sheba or a Zealand. Whatever its name, the arrival of the strange beast has been hailed as a godsend ^ “Zen key foal a hybrid star”.

“How the monkey got its stripes: Long before Instagram, Tijuana's tourist donkeys were camera-ready”. “A mysterious zebra-donkey hybrid (Zedong or monkey) produced under natural mating: A case report from Born, southern Ethiopia”.

^ Benirschke, K; Low, RJ; Brown hill, LE; CADA, LB; Devenecia-Fernandez, J (1 April 1964). ^ a b Jonson, Halon; Schubert, Mikkel; Seguin-Orlando, Ancient; Minolta, Aurélien; Petersen, Lillian; Fumagalli, Matteo; Albrecht, Andes; Petersen, Bent; Korneliussen, Throwing S.; Airstrip, Julia T.; Lear, Teri (30 December 2014).

“Speciation with gene flow in equips despite extensive chromosomal plasticity”. ^ LAU, Allison N.; Peng, Lei; Got, Pirogi; Chem nick, Leona; Ryder, Oliver A.; Dakota, Kateryna D. (1 January 2009).

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^ a b Airstrip, Julia T.; Seguin-Orlando, Ancient; Stiller, Mathias; Minolta, Aurélien; Madhavan, Manama; Nielsen, Sandra C. A.; Winston, Jacob; Free, Duane; Vasiliy, Sergei K.; Volvo, Nikolai D.; Clark, Joel (20 February 2013). A. Hammertoe (1930) ^ “Colchester Zoo mourns the loss of Shadow the Zedong” (Press release).

Zebra herd of plains zebras (Equus quanta) in the Ngorongoro Crater in TanzaniaScientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalian Order: Perissodactyla Family: Equine Genus: Equus Subgenus: Hippotigris C. H. Smith, 1841Species Modern range of the three living zebra species Zebras (subgenus Hippotigris) are African equines with distinctive black-and-white striped coats. Zebras share the genus Equus with horses and asses, the three groups being the only living members of the family Equine.

Zebra stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. Several theories have been proposed for the function of these stripes, with most evidence supporting them as a form of protection from biting flies.

Zebras inhabit eastern and Southern Africa and can be found in a variety of habitats such as Savannah, grasslands, woodlands, shrub lands and mountainous areas. They are preyed on mainly by lions and typically flee when threatened but also bite and kick.

Zebra species differ in social behavior, with plains and mountain zebra living in stable harems consisting of an adult male or stallion, several adult females or mares, and their young or foals ; while Gravy's zebra live alone or in loosely associated herds. In harem-holding species, adult females mate only with their harem stallion, while male Gravy's zebras establish territories which attract females and the species is promiscuous.

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Zebras communicate with various vocalizations, body postures and facial expressions. A zebra's dazzling stripes make them among the most recognizable mammals.

Historically, they have been highly sought after by exotic animal collectors, but unlike horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated. The quanta, a type of plains zebra, was driven to extinction in the 19th century.

The English name “zebra” dates back to c. 1600, deriving from Italian, Spanish or Portuguese. Its origins may lay in the Latin aquifers meaning “wild horse”; from Equus (“horse”) and ferns (“wild, untamed”).

Aquifers appears to have entered into Portuguese as zero or zero, which was originally a name for a mysterious (possibly feral) equine in the wilds of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages. In ancient times, the zebra was called hippotigris (“horse tiger”) by the Greeks and Romans.

The word “zebra” was traditionally pronounced with a long initial vowel, but over the course of the 20th century the pronunciation with the short initial vowel became the norm in the UK and the Commonwealth. The pronunciation with a long initial vowel remains standard in US English.

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A group of zebras is referred to as a herd, dazzle, or zeal. Zebras are classified in the genus Equus (known as equines) along with horses and asses.

The extinct quanta was originally classified as a distinct species. Later genetic studies have placed it as the same species as the plains' zebra, either a subspecies or just the southernmost population.

Equus originated in North America and direct paleogenomic sequencing of a 700,000-year-old middle Pleistocene horse metaphorical bone from Canada implies a date of 4.07 million years ago (MYA) for the most recent common ancestor of the equines within the range of 4.0 to 4.5 MYA. Quanta mare at London Zoo, 1870, the only specimen photographed alive.

This animal was historically considered a separate species but is now considered a subspecies or population of plains zebra. The cladogram of Equus below is based on Airstrip and colleagues (2013): Name Description Distribution Subspecies Chromosomes Image Gravy's zebra (Equus gravy) Body length of 250–300 cm (8.2–9.8 ft) with 38–75 cm (15–30 in) tail, 125–160 cm (4.10–5.25 ft) shoulder height and weighs 352–450 kg (776–992 lb); Mule -like appearance with narrow skull, robust neck and conical ears; narrow striping pattern with concentric rump stripes, white belly and tail base and white margin around the muzzle Eastern Africa including the Horn ; arid and semiarid grasslands and shrublandsMonotypic 46 Plains zebra (Equus quanta) Body length of 217–246 cm (7.12–8.07 ft) with 47–56 cm (19–22 in) tail, 110–145 cm (3.61–4.76 ft) shoulder height and weighs 175–385 kg (386–849 lb); Dumpy bodied with relatively short legs and a skull with a convex forehead and a somewhat concave nose profile; broad stripes, horizontal on the rump, with northern populations having more extensive striping while populations further south have whiter legs and bellies as well as more brown “shadow” stripes in-between black stripes Eastern and Southern Africa ; Savannah, grasslands and open woodlands 6 or monotypic44 Mountain zebra (Equus zebra) Body length of 210–260 cm (6.9–8.5 ft) with 40–55 cm (16–22 in) tail, 116–146 cm (3.81–4.79 ft) shoulder height and weighs 204–430 kg (450–948 lb); eye sockets more rounded and positioned farther back, a squarer nuclei crest, dewlap present under neck and compact hooves; stripes intermediate in width between the other species, with gridiron and horizontal stripes on the rump, while the belly is white and the muzzle is lined with chestnut or orange Southwestern Africa; mountains, rocky uplands and Karol shrubland232 Fossil skull of Equus Mauritanians Romulus, the striped offspring of a horse mother and a zebra father In addition to the three extant species, some fossil zebras have also been identified.

Equus koobiforensis is an early zebra or equine basal to zebras found in the Hungary Formation, Ethiopia and the Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and dated to around 2.3 MYA. E. oldowayensis is identified from remains in Olduvai Gorge dating to 1.8 MYA.

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It is suggested the species was closely related to the Gravy's zebra and may have been its ancestor. Fossil skulls of E. Mauritanians from Algeria which date to around 1 MYA appears to show affinities with the plains' zebra.

A 2017 mitochondrial DNA study placed the Eurasian E. voodoo and the subgenus Sussemionus lineage as closer to zebras than to asses. Fertile hybrids have been reported in the wild between plains and Gravy's zebra.

Hybridization has also been recorded between the plains and mountain zebra, though it is possible that these are infertile due to the difference in chromosome numbers between the two species. Captive zebras have been bred with horses and donkeys ; these are known as Negroids.

As with all wild equines, zebra have barrel-chested bodies with tufted tails, elongated faces and long necks with long, erect manes. Their elongated, slender legs end in a single spade-shaped toe covered in a hard hoof.

Their dentition is adapted for grazing ; they have large incisors that clip grass blades and highly crowned, ridged molars well suited for grinding. The eyes of zebras are at the sides and far up the head, which allows them to see above the tall grass while grazing.

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Their moderately long, erect ears are movable and can locate the source of a sound. Unlike horses, zebras and asses have chestnut callosities only on their front limbs.

In contrast to other living equines, zebra forelimbs are longer than their back limbs. Diagnostic traits of the zebra skull include: its relatively small size with a straight profile, more projected eye sockets, narrower rostrum, reduced post orbital bar, a V-shaped groove separating the metabolic and metastatic of the teeth and both halves of the enamel wall being rounded.

The belly and legs are white when striped, but the muzzle is dark and the skin underneath the coat is uniformly black. The general pattern is a dorsal line that extends from the forehead to the tail.

From there, the stripes stretch downward except on the rump, where they develop species-specific patterns, and near the nose where they curve toward the nostrils. The stripes on the legs, ears and tail are separate and horizontal.

Zebras also have complex patterns around the eyes and the lower jaw. Striping patterns are unique to an individual and heritable.

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During embryonic development, the stripes appear at eight months, but the patterns may be determined at three to five weeks. For each species there is a point in embryonic development where the stripes are perpendicular to the dorsal and spaced 0.4 mm (0.016 in) apart.

Various mutations of the fur have been documented, from mostly white to mostly black. Albino zebras have been recorded in the forests of Mount Kenya, with the dark stripes being blonde.

The quanta had brown and white stripes on the head and neck, brown upper parts and a white belly, tail and legs. The cry psis hypothesis was proposed by Alfred Wallace in 1896 and suggests that the stripes allow the animal to blend in with its environment or break out its outline so predators can not perceive it as a single entity.

Zebra stripes may provide wonderful camouflage at nighttime, which is when lions and hyenas are actively hunting. In 1871, Charles Darwin remarked that “the zebra is conspicuously striped, and stripes on the open plains of South Africa cannot afford any protection”.

Zebras graze in open habitat and do not behave cryptically, being noisy, fast, and social. In addition, lions and hyenas do not appear to be able to discern stripes beyond a certain distance in daylight, thus making the stripes useless in disrupting the outline.

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Stripes also do not appear to make zebras more difficult to find than uniformly colored animals of similar size, and predators may still be able to detect them by scent or hearing. The camouflaging stripes of woodland living ungulates like bongos and bush bucks are much less vivid and lack the sharp contrast with the background color.

A 2014 study could not find any correlations between striping patterns and woodland habitats. Closeup of mountain zebra stripes The confusion hypothesis states that the stripes confuse predators, be it by: making it harder to distinguish individuals in a group as well as determining the number of zebras in a group; making it difficult to determine an individual's outline when the group flees; reducing a predator's ability to follow a target during a chase; dazzling an assailant, so they have difficultly making contact; or making it difficult for a predator to judge the zebra's size, speed and trajectory via motion dazzle.

A 2014 computer study of zebra stripes found that the motion signals made by zebra stripes give out misleading information and can cause confusion via the wagon-wheel effect or barber pole illusion. The researchers concluded that this could be used against mammalian predators or biting flies.

The use of the stripes for confusing against mammalian predators has been questioned. The stripes of zebras could make group size look smaller, and thus more attractive to predators.

Zebras also tend to scatter when fleeing from attackers and thus the stripes could not obscure an individual's outline. Lions, in particular, appear to have no difficulty targeting and making contact with zebras when they get close and take them by ambush.

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In addition, no correlations have been found between the amount of stripes and populations of mammal predators. The aposematic hypothesis suggests that the stripes serve as warning coloration as they are recognizable up close.

Biologist L. H. Matthews proposed in 1971 that the stripes on the side of the mouth signal to the animal's bite. As with known aposematic mammals, zebras have high predation pressures and make no attempt to hide.

However, they are frequently preyed on by lions, suggesting that stripes do not deter them but may work on smaller predators. In addition, zebras are not slow and sluggish like known aposematic mammals.

Regarding species and individual identification, zebras have limited range overlap with each other and horses can recognize each other using visual cues. In addition, no correlation has been found between striping and social behavior among equines.

The thermoregulation hypothesis suggests that stripes help to control a zebra's body temperature. In 1971, biologist H. A. Baldwin noted that black stripes absorbed heat while the white ones reflected it.

related zebra horse deviantart
(Source: jedsart.deviantart.com)

In 1990, zoologist Desmond Morris proposed that the stripes set up convection currents to cool the animal. A study from 2015 determined that environmental temperature is a strong predictor for zebra striping patterns.

Another study from 2019 also concluded that the stripes played a role in regulating heat. Air currents move faster over the heat-absorbing black hairs than the white ones.

At the junction of the stripes, the air swirls and cools down the animal. During the hottest times of the day, the raised hair may help transfer heat from the skin to the hair surface, while during the cooler early morning, the raised black hair can trap air to prevent heat loss.

Others have found no evidence that zebras have cooler bodies than other ungulates whose habitat they share, or that striping correlates with temperature. A 2018 experimental study which dressed water-filled metal barrels in horse, zebra and cattle hides found that zebra stripes have no effect on thermoregulation.

In addition, zebra hair is shorter or the same length as the mouth parts of horse flies. Car and colleagues (2019) reported this hypothesis as the “emerging consensus among biologists”.

It was found that flies were less likely to land on black-and-white striped surfaces than uniformly colored one's in 1930 by biologist R. Harris. A 2012 study concurred this and concluded that the stripes reflect contrasting light patterns rather than the uniform patterns these insects used to locate food and water.

A 2014 study found a correlation between the amount of striping and the presence of horse and tsetse flies. Among wild equines, zebras live in areas with the highest fly activity.

Other studies have found that zebras are rarely targeted by these insect species. A 2020 study found that zebra stripes do not dazzle or work like a barber pole against flies since checkered patterns also repel them.

White or light stripes painted on dark bodies have also been found to reduce fly irritations in both cattle and humans. Plains zebras have been recorded travelling 500 km (310 mi) between Namibia and Botswana, the longest land migration of mammals in Africa.

Plains zebras are more water-dependent and live in more music environments than other species. They seldom wander 10–12 km (6.2–7.5 mi) from a water source.

They regularly rub against trees, rocks, and other objects and roll around in dust for protection against flies and irritation. Zebras eat primarily grasses and edges but may also consume bark, leaves, buds, fruits, and roots if their favored foods are scarce.

Compared to ruminants, zebras have a simpler and less efficient digestive system. Zebras may spend 60–80% of their time feeding, depending on the availability and quality of vegetation.

The plains zebra is a pioneer grazer, mowing down the upper, less nutritious grass canopy and preparing the way for more specialized grazers, which depend on shorter and more nutritious grasses below. When threatened by lions, zebras flee, and when caught they are rarely effective in fighting off the big cats.

A lion has to surprise a zebra within the first six seconds of breaking cover. However, a 2018 study found that zebras do not escape lions by speed alone but by laterally turning, especially when the predator is close behind.

With smaller predators like hyenas and dogs, zebras may act more aggressively, especially in defense of their young. Plains and mountain zebras live in stable, closed family groups or harems consisting of one stallion, several mares, and their offspring.

These groups have their own home ranges, which overlap, and they tend to be nomadic. The stability of the group remains even when the family stallion dies or is displaced.

Among harem-holding species, this behavior has otherwise only been observed in primates such as the Nevada and the Madras baboon. Females of these species benefit as males give them more time for feeding, protection for their young, and protection from predators and harassment by outside males.

Among females in a harem, a linear dominance hierarchy exists based on the time at which they join the group. Harems travel in a consistent filing order with the high-ranking mares and their offspring leading the groups followed by the next-highest ranking mare and her offspring, and so on.

Young of both sexes leave their natal groups as they mature; females are usually herded by outside males to be included as permanent members of their harems. Group of Gravy's zebras grazing In the more arid-living Gravy's zebras, adults have more fluid associations and adult males establish large territories, marked by dung piles, and monopolize the females that enter them.

This species lives in habitats with sparser resources and standing water and grazing areas may be separated. The most dominant males establish territories near watering holes, where more sexually receptive females gather.

Staying in a territory offers a female protection from harassment by outside males, as well as access to a renewable resource. Mountain zebras quarrelling all species, excess males gather in bachelor groups.

These are typically young males that are not yet ready to establish a harem or territory. With the plains' zebra, the males in a bachelor group have strong bonds and have a linear dominance hierarchy.

Mountain zebra bachelor groups may also include young females that have recently left their natal group, as well as old males they have lost their harems. Bachelors prepare for their adult roles with play fights and greeting/challenge rituals, which make up most of their activities.

Fights between males usually occur over mates and involve biting and kicking. In plains zebra, stallions fight each other over recently matured mares to bring into their group and her family stallion will fight off other males trying to abduct her.

Agonistic behavior between male Gravy's zebras occurs at the border of their territories. Plains zebras mutually groomingWhen meeting for the first time, or after they have separated, individuals may greet each other by rubbing and sniffing their noses followed by rubbing their cheeks, moving their noses along their bodies and sniffing each other's genitals.

Plains and mountain zebras strengthen their social bonds with grooming. Members of a harem nip and scrape along the neck, withers, and back with their teeth and lips.

Grooming usually occurs between mothers and foals and between stallions and mares. Grooming shows social status and eases aggressive behavior.

Although Gravy's zebras do not perform social grooming, they do sometimes rub against another individual. The call of the Gravy's zebra has been described as “something like a hippo's grunt combined with a donkey's wheeze”, while the mountain zebra is relatively silent.

Zebras also communicate with visual displays, and the flexibility of their lips allows them to make complex facial expressions. Visual displays also incorporate the positions of the head, ears, and tail.

A zebra may signal an intention to kick by laying back its ears and sometimes lashing the tail. Flattened ears, bared teeth, and abrupt movement of the heads may be used as threatening gestures, particularly among stallions.

Captive Gravy's zebras matingAmong plains and mountain zebras, the adult females mate only with their harem stallion, while in Gravy's zebras, mating is more promiscuous and the males have larger testes for sperm competition. Estrus in female zebras lasts five to ten days; physical signs include frequent urination, flowing mucus, and swollen, reverted (inside out) labia.

In addition, females in estrous will stand with their hind legs spread and raise their tails when in the presence of a male. Males assess the female's reproductive state with a curled lip and bared teeth (freshmen response) and the female will solicit mating by backing in.

The length of gestation varies by species; it is roughly 11–13 months, and most mares come into estrus again within a few days after foaling, depending on conditions. Mountain zebra suckling a foalUsually, a single foal is born, which is capable of running within an hour of birth.

A newborn zebra will follow anything that moves, so new mothers prevent others from approaching their foals while imprinting their own striping pattern, scent and vocalization on them. Within a few weeks, foals attempt to graze, but may continue to nurse for eight to thirteen months.

Living in an arid environment, Gravy's zebras have longer nursing intervals and do not drink water until they are three months old. In plains and mountain zebras, foals are cared for mostly by their mothers, but if threatened by pack-hunting hyenas and dogs, the entire group works together to protect all the young.

The group forms a protective front with the foals in the center, and the stallion will rush at predators that come too close. In Gravy's zebras, mothers may gather into small groups and leave their young in kindergartens guarded by a territorial male while searching for water.

A stallion may look after a foal in his territory to ensure that the mother stays, though it may not be his. By contrast, plains zebra stallions are generally intolerant of foals that are not theirs and may practice infanticide and femicide via violence to the pregnant mare.

With their distinctive black-and-white stripes, zebras are among the most recognizable mammals. They have been associated with beauty and grace, with naturalist Thomas Pennant describing them in 1781 as “the most elegant of quadrupeds”.

Zebras have been popular in photography, with some wildlife photographers describing them as the most photogenic animal. Zebras have become staples in children's stories and wildlife-themed art, such as depictions of Noah's Ark.

They are known for being among the last animals to be featured in the dictionary and in children's alphabet books where they are often used to represent the letter 'Z'. Zebra stripes are also popularly used for body paintings, dress, furniture and architecture.

Zebras have been featured in African art and culture for millennia. They are depicted in rock art in Southern Africa dating from 28,000 to 20,000 years ago, though not as commonly as antelope species like eland.

How the zebra got its stripes has been the subject of folk tales, some of which involve it being scorched by fire. The Masai proverb “a man without culture is like a zebra without stripes” has become popular in Africa and beyond.

The San people associated zebra stripes with water, rain and lighting because of its dazzling pattern, and water spirits were conceived of having zebra stripes. For the Shone people, the zebra is a totem animal and is praised in a poem as an “iridescent and glittering creature”.

Its stripes have symbolized the joining of male and female and at the ruined city of Great Zimbabwe, zebra stripes decorate what is believed to be a Zomba, a premarital school meant to initiate girls into adulthood. For people of the African diaspora, the zebra represented the politics of race and identity, being both black and white.

In cultures outside its range, the zebra has been thought of as a more exotic alternative to the horse; the comic book character Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, is depicted riding a zebra and explorer OSA Johnson was photographed riding one. The film Racing Stripes features a captive zebra ostracized from the horses and ending up being ridden by a rebellious girl.

Zebras have been featured as characters in animated films like Thumb, The Lion King and the Madagascar films and television series such as You. Zebras have been popular subjects for paintings, particularly for abstract, modernist and surrealist artists.

Notable zebra art includes Christopher Wood's Zebra and Parachute, Lucian Freud's The Painter's Room and Quince on a Blue Table and the various paintings of Mary Redden and Sidney Nolan. Victor Leisurely depicted zebras as mere bands of black and white and joined together in a jigsaw puzzle fashion.

Carl Weight's Escape of the Zebra from the Zoo during an Air Raid was based on a real life incident of a zebra escaping during and consists of four panels like a comic book. Zebras have lent themselves to products and advertisements, notably for 'Zebra Grate Polish' cleaning supplies by British manufacturer Reckitt and Sons and Japanese pen manufacturer Zebra Co., Ltd. .

In later times, captive zebras have been shipped around the world, often for diplomatic reasons. In 1261, Sultan Barbara of Egypt established an embassy with Alfonso X of Castile and sent a zebra and other exotic animals as gifts.

In 1417, a zebra was sent to the Dongle Emperor of China from Somalia as a gift for the Chinese people. The fourth Mughal emperor Jahangir received a zebra via Ethiopia in 1620 and commissioned a painting of the animal, which was completed by USTA Manner.

In the 1670s, Ethiopian EmperorYohannes I exported two zebras to the Dutch governor of Jakarta. These animals would eventually be given by the Dutch to the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan.

When Queen Charlotte received a zebra as a wedding gift in 1762, the animal became a source of fascination for the people of Britain. In 1882, Ethiopia sent a zebra to French president Jules Gravy, and the species it belonged to was named in his honor.

It is possible that having evolved under pressure from the many large predators of Africa, including early humans, they became more aggressive, thus making domestication more difficult. In Rome, zebras are recorded to have pulled chariots during gladiator games starting in the reign of Caracalla (198 to 217 AD).

In the late 19th century, the zoologist Walter Rothschild trained some zebras to draw a carriage in England, which he drove to Buckingham Palace to demonstrate the tame character of zebras to the public. In the early 20th century, German colonial officers in German East Africa tried to use zebras for both driving and riding, with limited success.

Gravy's zebra populations are estimated at less than 2,000 mature individuals, but they are stable. Mountain zebras number near 35,000 individuals and their population appears to be increasing.

Plains zebra are estimated to number 150,000–250,000 with a decreasing population trend. Human intervention has fragmented zebra ranges and populations.

Zebras are threatened by hunting for their hide and meat, and habitat change from farming. They also compete with livestock for food and water and fencing blocks their migration routes.

Civil wars in some countries have also caused declines in zebra populations. By the beginning of the 20th century, zebra skins were valued commodities and were typically used as rugs.

In the 21st century, zebra hides still sell for $1,000 and $2,000, and they are taken by trophy hunters. Zebra meat was mainly eaten by European colonizers; among African cultures only the San are known to eat it regularly.

The quanta population was hunted by early Dutch settlers and later by Afrikaners to provide meat or for their skins. The quanta was probably vulnerable to extinction due to its limited distribution, and it may have competed with domestic livestock for forage.

The last captive quanta, a female in Amsterdam's Natural Artist Magistrate zoo, lived there from 9 May 1867 until it died on 12 August 1883. The Cape mountain zebra, a subspecies of mountain zebra, was driven to near extinction by hunting and habitat loss with less than 50 individuals by the 1950s.

Conservation efforts by the South African National Parks have since allowed the populations to grow to over 2,600 by the 2010s. ^ a b Notes, Carlos; Munoz, Arturo Morales; Rodríguez, Laura Florence; Bennett, E. Andrew; Gag, Eva-María (2015).

Horns, Tusks, and Flippers: The Evolution of Hoofed Mammals. “New investigations on the taxonomy of the zebras genus Equus, subgenus Hippotigris “.

^ a b c d Airstrip, Julia T.; Seguin-Orlando, A.; Stiller, M.; Minolta, A.; Madhavan, M.; Nielsen, S. C. A.; et al. (2013). ^ Forfeited, M.; Cyclone, A.; Fleischer, R. C.; German, S.; Roland, N.; Leonard, J.

“A rapid loss of stripes: The evolutionary history of the extinct quanta”. ^ Petersen, Casper-Emil T.; Albrecht, Andes; Better, Paul D.; Johnson, Eric A.; Orlando, Ludovic; Chichi, Lounges; Sigismund, Hans R.; Heller, Rasmus (2018).

“A southern African origin and cryptic structure in the highly mobile plains' zebra”. “MitochondrialDNA timetable and the evolution of Equus : of molecular and pale ontological evidence” (PDF).

“Mitochondrial DNA evolution in the genus Equus (PDF). ^ Orlando, L.; Minolta, A.; Zhang, G.; Free, D.; Albrecht, A.; Stiller, M.; et al. (July 2013).

“Recalibrating Equus evolution using the genome sequence of an early Middle Pleistocene horse”. “MitochondrialDNA timetable and the evolution of Equus : of molecular and pale ontological evidence” (PDF).

^ a b c Bern or, R. L.; Cyrillic, O.; Junar, A. M.; Potts, R.; Russianize, M.; Rook, L. (2019). “Evolution of early Equus in Italy, Georgia, the Indian Subcontinent, East Africa, and the origins of African zebras ".

“Distribution and history of the Cape zebra (Equus census) in the Quaternary of Africa”. “Specific identity and taxonomic position of the extinct Quanta”.

“Pliocene and Pleistocene equips: paleontology versus molecular biology”. “The Equine from Cooper's D, an early Pleistocene fossil locality in Gluten, South Africa”.

^ Druzhkova, Anna S.; Bakunin, Alexey I.; Vorobieva, Nadella V.; Vasiliy, Sergey K.; Volvo, Nikolai D.; Zhukov, Mikhail V.; Triton, Vladimir A.; Graphodatsky, Alexander S. (January 2017). “Complete mitochondrial genome of an extinct Equus (Sussemionus) voodoo specimen from Denis ova cave (Altai, Russia)”.

^ Accordingly, J. E.; Hungarian, S. R.; Kirchhoff, I. R.; Shapiro, B.; Runway, J.; Rubinstein, D. I. ^ Gail, E.-M.; Bar-David, S.; Beja-Pereira, A.; Other, E. G.; Giotto, E.; Radar, H.; Unsure, T.; Provost, M. (2016).

“On the brine affinities of the Pleistocene horse Equus sivalensis, falconer and castle “. East African Mammals: An Atlas of Evolution in Africa.

“Zebra stripes and tiger stripes: the spatial frequency distribution of the pattern compared to that of the background is significant in display and cry psis”. “Motion camouflage induced by zebra stripes”.

^ a b c Car, T.; Argue ta, Y.; Built, E. S.; Bragging, J.; Kaspersky, M.; Lake, J.; Richardson, S.; How, M. (2019). ^ Larson, Brenda; Harridan, Ryan J.; Thomas sen, Henri A.; Rubinstein, Daniel I.; Chan-Golston, Alec M.; Li, Elizabeth; Smith, Thomas B.

^ Format, Gabor; Parsley, Adam; SAZ, Dense; Bart, Andres; Janos, Ire M.; Series, Balls; Lesson, Susanne (2018). “Experimental evidence that stripes do not cool zebras ".

^ GRI, Adam; Blah, Miles; Krista, George; Parkas, Robert; Gyurkovszky, Monika; Lesson, Susanne; Format, Gabor (2012). “Zebra stripes, tabloid biting flies and the aperture effect”.

“Cows painted with zebra-like striping can avoid biting fly attack”. ^ Adieu, R.; Chase, M. J.; Bacall, P.; Du Perez, P. (2016).

“A newly discovered wildlife migration in Namibia and Botswana is the longest in Africa”. “Memory, not just perception, plays an important role in terrestrial mammalian migration”.

“The roles of large herbivores in ecosystem nutrient cycles”. Large Herbivore Ecology, Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation.

CS1 main: multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Wilson, A.; Huber, T.; Within, S.; et al. (2018). “Biomechanics of predator–prey arms race in lion, zebra, cheetah and impala” (PDF).

“Sperm competition and variation in zebra mating behavior” (PDF). “Further evidence for male infanticide and femicide in captive plains' zebra, Equus Purcell (PDF).

^ Rubinstein, D.; Low Mickey, B.; Davidson, Z. D.; Bede, F.; King, S. R. B. Hack, Mace A.; East, Rod; Rubinstein, Dan J.

“Status and Action Plan for the Plains Zebra (Equus Purcell)”. Conserving Living Natural Resources: In the Context of a Changing World.

“Illustrated notes on some extinct South African ungulates”. ^ Vote, A.; Smith, R. M.; Moodle, Y.; Lookout, G.; Birds, C.; Van Wok, A. M.; Growler, J. P.; Dalton, D. L. (2019).

Wiki source has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Zebra. Imagine you're an animal attending your evolutionary family reunion (just pretend that's a thing for the sake of this article intro, OK?).

You might be surprised to find out how remarkably similar it is to your last family reunion: You spend the day trying to avoid “that guy” that no one wants to admit you really are related to, while the rest of your relatives randomly eat, fight or hump each other. Here are five (more) of those “that guy” relations in the animal kingdom that prove evolution just likes to mess with us.

The cetaceans (whales and dolphins) are some of the most beloved and respected animals in the world. Whales are the gentle giants of the sea, while dolphins are the fun-loving clowns who show up in a lot of female tattoos, despite the fact that they maybe also are serial killers.

We really hope this isn't some sort of hip porgy. Well, that first assumption was semi-right, but we were way off the mark on that “huge lazy fat ass” part. According to recent evidence, whales and hippos probably share the same great-great-great- (ad infinitum) grand pappy that lived about 50 million years ago.

It turns out the distant past was kind of a huge nerd. Now, here's an early anthracothere: Well, Danny DeVito makes a lot more evolutionary sense now. It's sort of like a hippo that tried one of those new fad diets and got even dumber as a result of the lack of nutrients.

Anyway, over time the cetaceans became more and more aquatic, until they eventually abandoned the land altogether. Meanwhile, the anthracotheres died out (presumably slowly and lazily), leaving only one descendant: the hippo.

The seal's flipper is flatter, and the bear's claws are longer (raise your hand if you knew that seals even had claws), but other than that, people who are way smarter than us yet spend a lot more of their time staring at animals' feet have found that they're very similar. In fact, the fossil record indicates that the pinnies probably arose from a bearlike ancestor called Pooja, which was a powerful predator that could run on all fours like a bear but also had webbed toes, allowing it to hunt in the water.

Today, pinnies are rarely found in freshwater and, needless to say, they gave up on all that “running” bullshit long ago. Perhaps one day, if we couch potato hard enough, we can reunite with our wiser brethren. Just think: If Pooja had taken a different turn on Evolutionary Road, we might have bears that could outrun, out climb and out swim you before using their curliness to lure you straight into their pointy bits.

The shit is actually off-screen. So a tapir sort of looks like a rhino who's lost all his cool rhino stuff (i.e., the armor and the face full of death-by-impalement) and is feeling pretty bitter about it. Just like that kid at school who grew up real close to the power plant.... and so did horses, once.

It might be easier to swallow when you remember that mongooses like to murder the shit out of snakes just because why the fuck not ? You might think by looking at them that hyenas belong in the “doglike carnivore” class, but they actually belong in the suborder California and share a close branch with the mongoose family, which also includes the Meerut (e.g., Timon from The Lion King).

That's right, the lovable little guy who convinces Simba to forget about all his worries is the long-lost cousin of the animals who helped kill his dad. Above: The “Loose Change” of the lion world. And yes, that also means hyenas are more closely related to cats than to dogs.

Go Team Spine! Vertebrates (you, other mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles and amphibians) are the closest evolutionary cousins of the sea squirt. In fact, scientists believe that the sea squirts (especially in their larval form) may resemble the original ancestor of all vertebrate life on earth.

If we're looking at that right, our ancestors were particularly well-hung. So consider this: Instead of inventing new technology, creating fabulous works of art and writing dick jokes on the Internet, we could have parked our asses on the sea floor and devoured our own brains.

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