Zebra vs. Horse

Zebra vs. Horse

Zebra and horse are hoofed mammals that belong to the horse family. There are three species of zebra and one species of wild horse with two subspecies, one of which has been domesticated. Zebra can be found in savannas, grasslands, thorny scrublands, woodlands, hills and mountains of Africa. Domesticated horse can be found all over the world, while Przewalski's horse, second subspecies of wild horse, can be found in the steppes, plains and scrublands of Mongolia and China. Zebra and horse are closely related and able to interbreed. Produced offspring, also known as zorses, horbras and zonies, are always sterile. Zebra and horse share many common features, but they can be easily differentiated by:

Color of the Body

Zebra has black muzzle and black and white coat. Each zebra has unique arrangement of black and white stripes which provide excellent camouflage in the tall grass. Horse can have pink, brown or black muzzle and white, gray, brown, black or multicolored coat. It is often covered with spots and blotches of different size and color.


Zebra has stockier, donkey-like body. It is smaller and lighter than horse.

Morphology of Ears, Tail, Mane, Legs and Hooves

Zebra has larger and more rounded ears than horse. Unlike horse which has hairy tail, zebra has solid tail with hairy tufts on its end. Horse has long hairy mane which lays freely on the neck, while zebra has short, stiff (erect) mane. Horse has long legs (much longer than the upper part of the body) while zebra has short legs, that are roughly equal in size with the upper part of body. Zebra has smaller and more oval hooves that are harder than horse's hooves.


Horse is faster than zebra. It can achieve speed of 54.7 miles per hour, while zebra's maximum speed is 40 miles per hour. Even though it is slower, zebra can easily escape from the predators by running in a zigzag manner.


Domestication of horses started 4000 years BC in the South-East Europe. Unlike horses, zebras are unpredictable, not-willing to cooperate with people and ready to bite and kick in self-defense. Aside from bad temper, zebra's body is not suitable for riding. That's why zebras never have been domesticated.


Zebra and horse are herbivores. Horse is specialized for diet based on grass. Zebra normally eats grass, but unlike horse, it will switch to bushes and shrubs when grass is not available.


Both horse and zebra snort and snuffle. Besides that, horse whinnies while zebra produces high-pitched, barking sound to alert other members of the herd about potential danger.

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