Ever given zebras a thought whether this wild animal with breathtakingly unique appearance is a mammal or not? If this question has brought you to your laptop, mobile, or tablet, it must be answered in detail. This wild animal appears quite a lot like mammals if it really is a mammal or not? Let’s resolve the mystery.
Are Zebras Mammals?
Yes for the record, zebras are neither reptiles nor amphibians but mammals. To be more specific, zebras are taken as sing-hoofed mammals living in herds in the wild. Zebras have got all the qualities and characteristics to be categorized so.
The question “are zebras a mammal?” might have been answered but it still has to be addressed in detail so our readers can speak about it confidently.
To be able to understand why zebras are categorized as mammals, not reptiles or amphibians, we have to understand the terms “mammal”, ” reptile”, and “amphibian” first. Let’s find out what criteria the animal has to meet to be able to call a mammal.
Mammal is a term we use for a group of vertebrate animals that possess mammary glands.
The mammary glands are the gland located in breasts and udders that are responsible for producing milk. Moreover, mammals can be judged by the neocortex, fur or hair, and the three middle bones.
All members of the mammal group give birth only five species are an exception, the said five species are monotremes.
Monotremes, in simpler words, are egg-laying mammals. Mammals can be noticed organized in solitary and territory but most of the mammals are found living and organizing themselves in fission-fusion societies, hierarchies, and harems.
All characteristics of mammals are worth praising, they are appearing and being mentioned in film, mythology, literature, and religion.
Mammals are intelligent and highly organized. Some mammals possess a large brain, self-awareness.
They can communicate or vocalize, mammals can be noticed vocalizing for social purposes, mating, giving a warning call, and indicate food sources.
Mammals are quite high-maintenance, they need a highly nutritional and plentiful diet to maintain a high constant body temperature and live a balanced life.
Mammals can be herbivores who eat plants, omnivores who eat plants and animals, or carnivores who prefer to eat other animals or birds, etc.
A small number of mammals are coprophagous that consume feces to fulfill the nutritional requirements.
It does not matter whether the mammal is herbivore, omnivore, or carnivore, the food needs to be nutritious and plentiful.
Humans, cats, dogs, bats, antelope, whales, monkeys, bears, dolphins, rats, apes, and all other creatures fulfilling the criteria of being called a mammal are mammals.
The word “Reptile” is used to refer to animals that belong to the class Reptilia.
The air-breathing vertebrates that are referred to as reptiles have four legs and special skin made up of bony plates, scales, or a combination of both.
Other than the bony plates, scales, and four-legged structure, reptiles are cold-blooded, breathe through lungs, have four limbs, and usually lay eggs.
Though there can be hundreds of examples of reptiles, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, frogs, tortoises, alligators, and tuatara are a few of them. In other words, reptiles are animals that crawl or move on their bellies.
The most surprising and worth-mentioning thing about reptiles is their skin, their skin watertight covered with epidermis.
The exposed parts are also covered but with scales or scutes.
The appearance of their skin does not let the reptiles mix or be misunderstood with mammals or amphibians. Moreover, they lack the thick dermal layer mammals have.
Unlike mammals and amphibians, reptiles keep shedding their skin throughout their entire life.
The inability to maintain a constant body temperature also distinguishes reptiles from amphibians and mammals.
They have to spend their life constantly moving between sun and shade to regulate their body temperature otherwise.
Amphibians are the vertebrates of the class Amphibia or more specifically tetrapod, ectothermic vertebrates of the class Amphibia.
The Amphibians are made to live in fossorial, arboreal, terrestrial, freshwater, or aquatic ecosystems. What’s surprising about amphibians is that they use their skin to breathe, some might use their skin as a secondary respiratory organ whereas some entirely rely on skin.
The second most surprising thing about amphibians is that they have complex reproductive needs. They reproduce by laying eggs. The female amphibians lay eggs in water, their offsprings live in water until they have lungs to breathe and legs to walk.
The wild amphibian’s reproductive needs are less complex as they have water to lay eggs in whereas, the amphibian’s reproductive conditioning highly depends on physiological and environmental cues. The amphibians living in captivity also need favorable temperature, humidity, light, and good nutrition as well.
The amphibians spend half of their life on the water and half on the land, because of this habit these animals earned the title “amphibians”.
Toads, frogs, newts, salamanders, and caecilians are the few common examples of amphibians. These animals called amphibians are a threat to the environment, they have been playing a part in climate change, pollution, and spreading diseases.
The amphibians are good predators they do not let anything pass away that comes into their way especially earthworms, spiders, caterpillars, and beetles.
Just as they do not take time in catching the prey these amphibians are quick in passing the earthworms, spiders, caterpillars, and beetles down the throat as well. They do not chew but swallow the prey whole. All these habits and qualities make the animals amphibians.
Now that our readers have got an idea of what mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are; it would not be that hard to judge why zebras are categorized as mammals. This article is solely being written to pass down the facts that make the zebras mammal.
Here is Why Zebras Are Categorized as a Mammal?
As mentioned above, zebras are categorized as a mammal because they have every reason to be called so. The legitimate reasons that make zebras mammal are;
- Zebras live in herds
- Zebras are single-hoofed
- Zebras give birth
- Zebras possess mammary glands
- Zebras have three middle bones
- Zebras are known for communicating facial expressions and sounds, they communicate by making soft snorting, loud braying or barking sounds
- Zebras might not be as intelligent as whales and dolphins but they are still enough intelligent to be called a mammal
- And several other reasons to be called so
To be called a mammal the animal has to give birth, be social, intelligent, single-hoofed, have mammary glands, and three middle bones. As zebras have all these and other habits and characteristics mammals need to possess, they are categorized as a mammal.