Hartmann's zebra

Equus zebra ssp. Hartmannae

Common name

Hartmann's zebra


Hartmann's zebra lives in an arid region in a mountainous transition zone on the edge of the Namibian desert, occupying mountain slopes and plateaus.








1 year.

Number of offspring

A single calf.




They are herbivorous grazers, consuming low-quality grasses with a high amount of indigestible fibrous material, which is why they require a large amount of daily food. They only browse when their food is not available, for example, feeding on the leaves of small shrubs during the winter months.


It is estimated that they have a life expectancy of about 25 years in the wild, and can reach 29 years in captivity.

Biology and behavior

The different species and subspecies of zebra share a design pattern: white stripes on a black background.

It is thought that the labyrinth of stripes that constitutes the flock confuses the predator at a certain distance, complicating the task of choosing prey, and camouflages them in the “undulations” produced by the high-temperature air. They also protect them from blood-sucking insects that could transmit diseases and, as they are unique patterns, they can use them to recognize each other within the flock (although at close range they will recognize each other through smell). Finally, there is a last hypothesis that indicates that under each black stripe there is a layer of fat that can heat up about 20ºC more than the white areas. This temperature difference across the body seems to generate air currents, which would have a thermoregulatory function.

Hartman's zebras use mountains as shelter, generally resting at high altitudes and descending to feed at night. It is a social species that can form reproductive groups and groups of single males. Breeding herds or harems consist of a breeding male, 1 to 5 females and their young, which can remain together for years.

They can reproduce throughout the year. The young are born well developed and during the first weeks they remain close to the mother and the males do not participate in their care. However, if they encounter any threats, the male alerts the rest of the herd with a high-pitched call or snort and takes up a defensive position at the rear of the group, while a female (usually the mother of the smaller foal) leads away. to the pack of danger.


Surface water is patchy in their habitat, so they must wander between mountains and sand plains to find patches of grass to feed on.

They have exceptionally hard and pointed hooves compared to other equids, making them great climbers. Although its most distinctive feature is the dewlap or fold of skin that hangs on its neck.

African savanna
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island