One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An African wild horse with black-and-white stripes and an erect mane.
- ‘In Australia, kangaroos occupy the position held on other continents by grass eaters such as antelope, deer, zebra, and bison.’
- ‘The western part of Kenya's largest national park boasts the Mzima crystal springs, a haven for hippos, elephants, gazelles, zebras, and giraffes.’
- ‘Burchell's zebras will mate with donkeys, producing a hybrid that has been called a ‘zebdonk.’’
- ‘This family, made up of the horses, asses and zebras, contains one genus with nine species.’
- ‘So are zebras just horses that leaned on wet painted fences?’
- ‘The preserve is home to elephants, giraffes, zebra, and various species of antelope and monkey.’
- ‘Horses, zebras and donkeys are probably descended from an equine (horse-like) kind, since they can interbreed, although the offspring are sterile.’
- ‘A zebra or horse without a hoof is a sitting duck for predators.’
- ‘Madagascar's landscape may not be a bad fit for lions, giraffes, zebras, and hippos.’
- ‘Aardvarks, rabbits, zebras, and other animals that rely on a more sedentary diet opt for eyes on each side of the head, maximizing their ability to spot lurking dangers.’
- ‘Horses and zebras, for example, can interbreed but no one considers them the same species.’
- ‘Like all equids, mountain zebras are polygynous.’
- ‘Of all the wild equines in the world today, only the plains zebras of Africa are present in large numbers.’
- ‘You'll get up close to the wildlife, including giraffe, zebra, impala and wildebeest, and all riding abilities are catered for, including beginners.’
- ‘Seti thought that Vortas' hair was reminiscent of a zebra except with black-and-purple stripes instead of a zebra's black-and-white stripes.’
- ‘Towards the west end of the zoo were a number of large paddocks, home to zebras, deer, horned oryx and Przewalski wild horses.’
- ‘The route of the safari will allow visitors to see for themselves a wide variety of African wildlife including lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, chimpanzees and many other species.’
- ‘The Cape Colony extended systematic protection to elephants, giraffes, hippopotami, buffalo, zebras, quaggas and antelopes in 1886.’
- ‘A good idea is to board the little train which encircles the zoo enclosure and allows you to see the giraffes, hippos, zebra, camels and rhinos.’
2A large butterfly with pale stripes on a dark background.
- ‘The zebra longwing butterflies entertained me and a lot of other folks that summer and fall.’
- ‘The refuge provides shelter and habitat for more than 300 butterfly species, including the zebra longwing, pipevine swallowtail, julia, and Mexican blue wing.’
3South African A silvery-gold sea bream with vertical black stripes.
- ‘The company screens compounds for medical uses using zebra fish embryonic cells and fruitflies.’
- ‘It is a blending of DNA from a zebra fish and either a jellyfish or sea anemone.’
- ‘I was bored with photographing co-operative green turtles, so I turned to barracuda, batfish, groupers and a lone zebra lionfish.’
- ‘He brought to our attention the tiny zebra fish which could fully regenerate even severely damaged myocardium.’
Early 17th century: from Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese, originally in the sense ‘wild ass’, perhaps ultimately from Latin equiferus, from equus ‘horse’ + ferus ‘wild’.
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