Figure 1. Grevy's
grevyi) is the largest species of wild horse in the world today.
It is a primitive zebra and may be the ancestral form from which all other
Grevy's Zebra is also of special interest
because it preserves many of the characters of the
earliest-known Equus species, Equus
simplicidens, which inhabited North America during the Pliocene, three
million years ago. These characters include: a long skull with
prominent occipital region, slender limbs, small hoofs and large body size
(Skinner and Hibbard 1972; Kurtén and Anderson 1980).
Grevy's Zebra is found only in northeastern Africa
(Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya). There it lives in subdesert environments,
its habitat requirements positioned ecologically between the more arid deserts inhabited by the
African wild ass (Equus asinus), and the more well-watered
environments inhabited by the Plains Zebra (Equus
(Bauer et al. 1994).
In recent years, warfare has raged over much of the range of Grevy's
Zebra. Lawlessness accompanying these conflicts has
consequently led to a rise in poaching and a decrease in this zebra's numbers. Grevy's
Zebra is an endangered species.
Photograph by Sybilla Poortman (The Netherlands).