Are Zebras and Horses Related?

Horses and zebras have some similarities that are hard to miss. They have a similar body structure and long limbs. They both live in herds. They both gallop, trot, walk, and canter. Because of these similarities many people have questioned are horses and zebras related. Horses and zebras are of the same Genus, Equus. However they are different species. Horses are E. caballus and the plains zebras are E. burchelli.

Some of the differences in the animals include:

1. They have a slightly different bone structure. The horses anatomy helps them speed away from predators and provides them with great balance. Zebras are generally slower but have better stamina and the ability to zig-zag as they run.

2. Horses have a hairy tail and a long mane. Zebras on the other hand have a a solid tail and a short mane that sticks up.

3. Horses have a solid hoof, whereas zebras have a cloven hoof.

4. Zebras tend to have larger, rounder ears than horses, providing them with excellent hearing.

5. Humans have been able to domesticate horses and have never been able to domesticate zebras.

While these animals are related, there are very specific distinguishing characteristics in both. These species probably split close to 4 million years ago, and both animals have evolved in different ways that help them to survive in their surroundings. So the answer to the question “are zebras and horses related” is yes, they come from a common ancestor. However this does not mean that the zebra is just a striped horse. These animals have become very different creatures. They do have enough common DNA so that they can breed. However like most hybrids, the offspring created, the ‘zorse’, is sterile and cannot reproduce.

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