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The Burchell´s zebra

5 December 2013

 

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Burchell’s zebra Equus burchellii, a member of the horse family Equidae is also known as the plains zebra. It was named after the traveller and naturalist W J Burchell who sent the first specimens to the British Museum of Natural History in London. Some scientists have named it Equus quagga after the extinct Cape zebra, but the most recent genetic analyses still support the above name as being valid, while Equus quagga is deemed to be extinct. There have been attempts to breed quagga look-alikes from aberrantly coloured Burchell’s zebras but this will never replicate the exact genetic make-up of the extinct quagga. The only result will be a Burchell’s zebra that looks like a quagga.

Burchell´s zebra occurs widely in southern, central and eastern Africa but has probably never occurred in South Africa south of the Orange River except if the quagga was one of its subspecies... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

References:

Grubb, P 2005. Order Perissodactyla. In: D E Wilson and D M Reeder (Eds), Mammal species of the world, third edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, p. 630.

Skinner, J D and C T Chimimba (Eds) 2005. The mammals of the southern African subregion, third edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 543 - 546.

article by: Prof J du P Bothma

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