Posts tagged ‘Grassland’

Why do zebras have stripes?

Zebra

The zebra’s famous stripes help it to hide from its enemies.  When you see a zebra in the zoo, its stripes make it stand out clearly.  But in its wild home on the African plains, the zebra is not so easily recognized.

When seen from a distance, the black or brown stripes on a whitish background form a camouflage pattern.

This pattern breaks up the outline of the zebra’s body into deceptive shapes that blend in with the scenery.

Since zebras normally live in the same grasslands as lions, their main enemy, this protection is very necessary for the zebra.–Dick Rogers

What is a GNU?

Gnu

Gnus are large, ox-like African antelopes.

A gnu (pronounced noo) is a large, ox-like African antelope with high shoulders, a pushy, horse like tail and a long, sad-looking face.  Long, thin legs and a tuft or chin whiskers add to its queer appearance.

There are two kinds of gnus – the silvery-gray brindled gnu and the smaller dark-colored white-tailed gnu.

Brindled gnus are found living on the open grassland of Central Africa.  When frightened, the gnu prances about leaps into the air and kicks its heels, then dashes away with a toss of its head.

Like other antelopes, gnus are fast runner and can run a speed up to 40 miles an hour to escape an enemy.

The white-tailed gnu is nearly extinct.  Once found in vast herds roaming the plains of South Africa, white-tailed gnus today are kept and protected in zoos and in special parks so they won’t disappear from the earth.  Gnus are also known as wildebeests. – Dick Rogers