Why Don’t Humans Ride Zebras?

Why Don’t Humans Ride Zebras?

(classical music) (writing on chalkboard) – Hi there, I’m Josh Clark. And this is Brain Stuff. And this is the Brain Stuff where I explain to you why we don’t ride zebras. Is that right? Maybe you’ve seen somebody ride a zebra before, or, there’s videos on You Tube, and there’s a movie called Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, and all of it made you think, why don’t we ride zebras? Why isn’t it just a normal thing? First, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle actually had a painted
horse, not a real zebra. And secondly, while it is possible to get a zebra, once in a
while, to let you ride it, you can’t actually domesticate the zebra species, as a whole. Here’s why. So an animal that’s domesticated is actually a member of a species that has been modified from its brethren in the wild
by human intervention. Through selective breeding and making a species dependent on us for their food supply, we make them pretty much compliant to whatever humans want them to do, whether it’s walk down a chute to their death, or pull a cart, whatever. Domestication means we’ve
taken a wild species and made it utterly and completely tame, as a species. With me so far? Now that you understand domestication, through that lens, it’s
kind of not that surprising that we don’t have more
domesticated species. All domesticated animals,
including the big five that we humans have
really come to depend on: cows, pig, sheep, goats, horses have six main things in
common, as pointed out by Jared Diamond, who’s
the author of a number of cool books, including
Guns, Germs, and Steel. These six things are kind of big. They are that the animal is capable of breeding in captivity. They aren’t picky eaters, which means that the average human can go out and get food for these animals. They have a social
hierarchy, which means that a human can step in as
the leader of the group. They grow very quickly, so you can grow a bunch of them as
quickly as you need them and replace the ones that die. They tend not to panic which is kind of important when you have something in captivity that, you’re saying, Breed, breed! Here’s some food. And probably most important of all, they have a pleasant
disposition, which means they won’t attack you every time you go in to take them their food. You put all these six factors together and you have yourself a species that could conceivably be domesticated. But, if just one of
these factors is missing, that species will likely never be able to be domesticated. And zebras, it turns out, do not match these
criteria in a lot of ways. Probably most of all, zebras are jerks. They’re very hostile. They’re very aggressive. And that really means that you can’t domesticate them easily. But you can’t blame
zebras for their stripes. (drum rimshot) See, zebras evolved on the African plains and they evolved as a
food source for lions. Zebras don’t want to be
a food source for lions, so since they have to fend
off these apex predators on a daily basis, they learned to be very aggressive and to
kick really, really hard. In fact, a zebra can kick a lion to death. So just think about what it could do to a human head! They also have a really nasty habit of biting and not letting go. (munching) You put all that together, if you go to take a zebra its food, while you’re trying to domesticate it, you’re in for a big surprise. All of this about their disposition and tendency to panic, frankly, is not to mention that they’re too small to ride. Zebras backs aren’t evolved to allow a human to ride along, or to carry even a lot of cargo. And you can’t properly saddle them. So really, even if zebras were the nicest animal on the planet, we would just break their backs when we tried to ride them. This is not to say that
there is no such thing as a tame zebra, like we’ve seen. But a tame zebra is just an individual. It’s not a member of a
domesticated species. For example, the 2nd Baron Rothschild used to ride around in a carriage pulled by his train of zebras in Edwardian London. Must’ve been quite a sight to see. Plus there’s another guy named Bill Turner who’s known to ride his
zebra around Dorset. Apparently it has a
stronger than usual back. But for the most part, you can do away with your wild, wild dreams of ever riding a zebra at the park. It’s probably not gonna happen. And now you know why. So what animal do you wish you could ride? I think I would look
awesome riding an ostrich. It’s just my thing. Let us know in the comments below. And while you’re down there, go ahead and subscribe to Brain Stuff. And for even more cool Brain Stuff stuff, go to BrainStuffShow.com.

100 thoughts on “Why Don’t Humans Ride Zebras?

  1. I've seen people riding zebras before (at least in pictures). Plus, you can train wild horses (I do so myself), so of course, you can tame them.

  2. So full of shit bible say's 4 God made every domestic animal acodns 2 its kind n every wild animal in acodns 2 its kind like nonedersal man never existed

  3. i do not want ride no zebra. good show..how many different kinds of zebra do we have all over the world??thank you..

  4. This sounds like a bad school presentation. All the I formation I just heard was just on an article I read about domestication that had a section on zebras, but it was just like twisted around and stupid sounding the way he says it


  5. There is so much people in this chat that think they know what they are saying but they don’t zebras are crazy way crazier then horses these city people in here think a zebra is like a horse a zebra and a horse are in the same family but that’s there only similar it takes different kind of recourses and intelligent to own a zebra these people acting like they know everything cause they know a horse lol

  6. The Big five is hillariously wrong what about elephants, donkeys, yaks, reindeers, and what about our best friend the dog?

  7. I hate to say it , but everything people say in videos like this one, can also be applied for the different human races 🙋🏿‍♂️🙋🏼‍♂️🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

  8. I just love the way this guy talks about animals / you can use these same choice words when it comes to the human race 😃

  9. Before the First World War, the German Army used zebras as a disease resistant alternative to mules and horses in east Africa. It is obvious that this video is political correct, pro-PETA piece ignoring both historical and current evidence. Suggest the following website for a more balanced view. http://messybeast.com/history/working.htm This junk science….

  10. Look at David Skipworth for a more current example of zebra training. Horses, pigs, and cattle can be dangerous also….the "jerk" augment doesn't hold water- and it is the ONLY excuse the video gives. I had an uncle killed by a horse kick, a cousin nearly killed by a cow attack, and a friend seriously injured by a hog attack. These people were all experienced farmers that had worked with livestock for years. Look at the Siberian Fox experiment, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/domesticated-foxes-genetically-fascinating-terrible-pets ….This is just a 60 year experiment with Russian foxes…..the bottom line is no one tamed foxes and zebras before because no one had the imagination to see the economic benefit for their situation. The large scale domesticated program of zebras stopped in Africa not because it didn't work but because cars, trucks and 4 wheelers are more practical than horses, mules, donkeys….. and zebras.

  11. After this bit of nonsense I will be unsubscribing. He thinks Guns Germs and Steele is "cool". I see more Western European hate speak.

  12. The horses that get arrested for criminal activities and are put in jail uniform become Zebras.
    That's why people don't ride them 🤣🤣🤣

  13. This is wrong in almost every way. The reason zebras weren't domesticated is because Sub-Saharan Africa was cut off from the rest of the world for most of human history, thus it didn't have the impetus or time to implement something like broad species changes.  I will carefully explain how all of the proofs he's using from Jared Diamond are wrong.

    1) Animals That Won't Breed in Captivity – Misleading through intent or ignorance. Probably the former so Africans won't have their feelings hurt. Every animal in the world will breed in captivity if you have a large enough area for it. The sense he's using refers to animals in zoos, which have very small enclosures. True, some animals won't breed there, but they breed just fine in pastures or when herded. After all zebras are herd animals. They only ever breed with animals they are around, and they breed in preserves.  But that's not the most important part.

    Where a species is reluctant to breed in whatever controlled environs you can provide, all you have to do is keep the ones that will breed and kill the rest. Thus, the tendency to breed in captivity is bred into them in the local area. Only the compliant breeders survive, and their loss to captivity means an even lower reproductive rate for animals outside the controlled area. It doesn't take long for evolution to work in these circumstances. You get the traits you refined.

    Unless, of course, this idiot is suggesting that horses somehow evolved to breed in captivity all on their own before they came into contact with humans. I'd love to hear what natural selection pressure brought that about.

    2) They Aren't Picky Eaters – You know, because so many monogastrics with a cecum are picky eaters. Equines are all monogastrics like us, they only have one stomach. However, they have evolved differing intestines and intestinal flora to ensure that forage grasses (called roughage) can ferment properly for digestion, but they all have some type of one, including zebras. Given how much of Africa is savannah, and that zebras eat the grass there all the time, it wouldn't be hard for humans to find food for them.

    Not that Brainstuff bothers to cover this, it's just not an element here. Zebras ARE easy to find food for.

    3) They Have a Social Hierarchy – Zebras do have a social hierarchy. They have the exact same one as horses.

    4) They Grow Very Quickly – No. Like selecting breeders, you have to select the animals that grow muscle or fat, or just survivability as desired. The animals we have NOW possess those traits because we selectively bred them. Same with plants. Ever seen a crab apple? Well, that's what a natural apple looks like. Similarly, zebras bear a good deal of resemblance to ancient wild horses. They're don't take longer to grow, their gestation period is almost the exact same, which brings us to…..

    4.5) Zebras Are Too Small – Horse shit. All horses were too small at first. We bred bigger and bigger ones by combining the biggest, most fertile, and most successful of the species. Originally, horses were too small to carry humans, but we used them for pulling things as evidenced by the remains of sleds found next to horses little bigger than a large dog. We still have a few horses like that today, wild Siberian ponies that man never reached much.  

    Zebras had no such influence, which is to say that Africa actually started out ahead in evolution. Their Zebras should have been bred first, all other things being equal. But of course, all other things were not equal. As stated in the premise, Africa had almost no contact with outside civilizations, thus nowhere to get ideas from. Why fix what's not broken? A man can run down any animal on the savannah with enough endurance, and as evidenced by some still-existing native cultures separated by oceans, you can always make women carry things with less effort when food is plentiful.

    5) They Tend Not to Panic – I am convinced that this man has never seen any domesticated livestock in his life. Yes, they do panic. Extremely easily. You can't breed that out of them, not yet, because we provide no evolutionary advantage to not panicking. When our livestock panic we rush to do things to protect them. Sure, some die, but not enough to keep the trait from being passed on.

    Once again, he's using observations of modern animals, which become docile BECAUSE humans are around. They get docile in the presence of what really looks like a predator that feeds them and doesn't kill them. Well, not right away. Another important part is imprinting on young animals. They'll still fear humans if they are a flight species, just not as much. Ask anyone who has had to saddle a young horse or give a shot to a young cow, shear a lamb, whatever. They'll fight like hell until they learn that you won't hurt them. This also contributed to "flight" genes remaining. There's nothing to eliminate them.

    6) They Have a Pleasant Disposition – "Get. Fucked." I take this one personally because I once had a girlfriend who loved wolves. Not dogs, she was more of a cat person, but she loved wolves so much that we had to go to a rescue for them. Turns out, a lot of people try to raise wolves only to find out they have no idea what the hell they are doing. While feeding such a wolf, she was bitten, and then I was bitten getting it off her.

    But I still love dogs, and I still have something of an admiration for wolves. I blame it on the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt I bought her. It changed my life. What I don't love is people making stupid claims like that domestic animals always had a pleasant disposition. Even operating with the most advanced breeds of herbivore, raised in the best environments, I have been bucked, kicked, bit, trampled, rammed, clotheslined, fallen on, etc etc.

    Domesticating animals isn't easy, even when they're domesticated. They're evolved to live certain lives with what brains they are given and the rest is up to mankind. Sub-Saharan Africans simply had no reason to give them those adaptations Aside from being isolated, they also had plenty of food until fairly recently in the timescale of breeding domesticated animals. The constant warmth breeds plenty of life, and that is the important part if you want to consider the domestication of animals in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Domestic animals must be protected from disease, especially when you're trying to breed ones that share genetic traits. Once a simple microbe or a virus evolves the genetic combination to unlock a certain cell, it can infect any cells which have the same combination. Ever wonder why sex is such a necessity? That's a strong reason. Not the definitive answer until proven, but a good one. 

    Well, Africa is rife with disease, not a stereotype, a fact. So are South and Central America, all climates rich with life and the diseases which accompany it. Why raise a herd of anything when you already have to produce so many children in order to overcome the horrendous human infant mortality rate, to say nothing of the more rapid spread of disease? You can just get people to do the work, and that's still the case in some of these cultures today. They aren't doing anything wrong. They're doing exactly what evolution forced them to do. 

    Now, dear reader, think about all that and tell me if it doesn't make more sense than some foolish SJW or racial supremacist explanation, especially from some shit called "Guns Germs and Steel" who managed to get everything about the domestication of animals wrong. Presented content and cover, I'm pretty sure it's fit to die out.

  14. This is jus BS
    – Horses were way smaller in antiquity too, that's why carriots were so popular, because they could not hold the weight o top, but were good at pulling. With years of selective breeding we achieved modern horses.
    – Most domesticated animals were not complicient at the beginning neither. Have you tried to ride a wilde horse? have you tried to domesticate a wolf?
    The truth is simply that african societies didn't have the intelligence to domesticate them. If Zebras had been in Asia or Europe we would be riding them like horses no problem.

  15. And Please don't think The African Elephant and Rhino has never been tamed and Used By African Civilizations

    It all starts from the Babies

  16. Pigs sheep goats horses and cows panicking all the time and they don't let humans be the leader of the group and of course they are only dependant on humans for food because they are in cage and most of them are even skerd of humans. you should know what you're talking about before you post it

  17. This video is retarded.
    The reason zebras weren't domesticated is because subsaharans didn't bother to domestic them.

  18. 1 – "You can't domesticate jerks" – ever had a cat?
    2 – Wild horses don't let you ride them either. Wild horses required hundreds if not thousands of years of domestication.
    3 – Every single domesticated horse needs breaking before you saddle it and ride it – every single one of them.
    4 – Horses get scared by such "terrors" as a crumpled piece of paper. Horses ARE panic, just shaped like a horse.
    5 – Cows also panic, ever heard of a stampede?
    6 – Horses are No. 1 killers of people in Australia – not crocodiles, not snakes, not sharks – horses are.
    7 – Cows are No. 1 killers of people in Europe – calving cows trample and attack farmers and what a bull can do to a human is beyond scary.
    8 – Horses are not dependant on humans to provide them food. Mustangs are descendants of horses that run away from the Spanish when the Europeans discovered the Americas and there were no horses there at the time -yet they are fine finding food so are goats, sheep, cows and pigs.
    9 – Even with modern, domesticated horses you can distingush if the horse was ridden looking at its skeleton – there are actual "micro" cracks in their vertebrae – even now it takes a toll on their backs.
    10 – That "six criteria" is such a bullshit I assume Diamond has ever seen animals on TV:

    a) Capable of breding in captivity — Big enough pasture and it works for all.
    b) No peaky eaters — That surely excludes horses or working dogs.
    c) Social hierarchy — All herd animals have some, but trust me, cows, pigs, horses, sheep, goats have no need to know who you are and they do not see you as a master, also how about chickens in factory farms? Fully automated barns work for cows also.
    d) They grow very quickly — "quickly" compared to what, an Oak tree? Show me a slow growing mammal. But that aside, elephants were used as war animals, or heavy movers for millenia with pregnancies lasting 2 years… "quickly" my ass.
    e) Tend not to panic – horses and cows are especially twitchy, this is BS.
    f) Pleasant disposition — yeah, as pleasant as an Aurochs, or a Wild Boar, or a Wolf? Lol.

    That Diamond is a total muppet.

    I can go on, but I will stop now, either way this video is so inaccurate it makes me sad :/

  19. Before video: We’ll it’s because zebras are really quick and light on their hooves, not a very pleasant ride when you’re horse is doing zigzags and you end up falling off because you couldn’t hold onto the reins long enough.
    During video: Domestic horses scare easily too, take a plastic bag, tie it somewhere down the trail and they’ll freak out and try tor avoid the mystery object because it’s seen as a threat to them and they want to avoid it. Same goes with puddles, one look at a puddle and that horse will Nope it’s way from the puddle. There’s plenty of mundane things that freak a horse out, like a plant that you’ve passed by hundreds of times and suddenly it became a predator to the horse. You think your horse will swim in water after he’s done it a million times, your horse will up and decide not to go in the water and instead nope itself away from the water.
    After the video: wow, didn’t know that a zebra’s back is very fragile.

  20. Alternative Hypothesis did a brutal takedown of Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel, which you cited.


  21. Riding something alive isn't a good idea at the first place. Why aren't they used as a plowed animal is another thing. All wild animals are aggressive and the only reason why we domesticated some of them is because we were able to find the most friendly ones

  22. So the chance to ride a Zebra is the same as riding a Lion, both were done but don't you dare assume you can do it at well

  23. What about the moose? They look like they move similar to a horse and they are pretty big and strong looking.

  24. Given that I have actually seen, first hand, a zebra being ridden to the local pub you'll have to step up your game a huge amount before I'll subscribe.

  25. Please don't use Jared Diamond's book "guns germs and steel" as a credible source of information. He had a Marxist agenda to prove that white people were "ecologically privileged".
    A breakdown of all the bullshit in that book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvaxPH3ftUQ

  26. Elk why don't we ride elk In the US there are some areas in Mongolia and other parts of Asia where it's done, so why not here?

  27. With ur logic on what domestication is then technically there r no domesticated animals since all domesticated animals can be feral and live in the wild

  28. Horses actually don't bite and therefore none of their ancestors do either. Zebras are domesticatable but they can't be ridden simply because their ankles can't handle the extra stress and break down after a few rides.

    That said, a zebras kick is like a bee sting. It may cost them their life if they break an ankle while attempting to kick something

  29. "utterly and completely tame" aparently youve never heard of a domestic house cat. they can go feral pretty quick…..

  30. Horses are just what happens when a wild equine like a zebra have been domesticated. like the difference between a cat and a lion.

  31. We dont ride zebras because there are horses ….but IF there were no horses? Zebras would have been modified by now and tame like horses …but why when there are horses?

  32. Before I started the video I was thinking I’m pretty sure zebras are assholes one time I went to this like drive thru zoo shit where you could feed animals and they specifically said don’t feed the zebras people have lost fingers. 3 minutes in “zebras are jerks” I knew it

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