After reading a recent article in National Geographic about the evolution of the Zebras stripes, we wanted to share some history and information on the Equidae family and some of the fascinating hybrids that have been bred since the 19th Century.
Equidae (sometimes known as the horse family) is the taxonomicfamily of horses and related animals, including the extant horses, donkeys, and zebras, and many other species known only from fossils. All extant species are in the genusEquus. Equidae belongs to the order Perissodactyla, which includes the extant tapirs and rhinoceros, and still more fossils.
Have you ever heard of a Zebroid? A zebroid is the offspring of any cross between a zebra and any other equine; essentially, a zebra hybrid. Like most other animal hybrids, all offspring are sterile. The father is typically a zebra stallion with a female horse, donkey, or mule. In rarer reverse cases, some donkey/horse mares have been paired with zebra dam, although this is not seen often.
Here are a few of the pairings of the modern day equines with the zebra.
The Zedonk: A Zebra Father paired with a Donkey Mare
The Zorse: Offspring of the Zebra Stallion and Horse Mare
Zetlands: A Cross between the Zebra and Shetland Pony
Now none of these unique pairings should be confused to the Okapi, which is most closely related to Giraffes!
Since we are on the subject, what would be your choice of Zebra Hybrid? The Okapi might have to be at the top of the list for us, because who doesn’t want a Giraffe that looks like a horse and a zebra in one?
To follow our favorite Zebroid pictures, check out our board on Pinterest!
**Disclaimer: We do not have any Zebroids on location at Black Mountain Ranch. As cowboys, we are purists and prefer the horse itself, which we are itching to have come back from their winter vacation! To the best of our knowledge none of horses have wintered in Africa or any other exotic get-aways that might have provided them the opportunity to create a Zebroid. We hope you have booked your reservations for this summer and look forward to riding with our great dude ranch friends equines soon!