Tropical grasslands, also known as savannas, are found in hot parts of the world with dry and rainy seasons. Unlike many plants, grass can survive periods of drought by becoming dormant.
During the dry season, the grass looks dry, parched and lifeless. When the rains come, though, the grass springs to life, becoming lush and green.
Savannas are found in Africa, South America, India and Australia. They lie between the subtropical deserts and the tropical rainforests of these countries. Savannas are home to many grazing animals, such as wildebeests, antelopes, gazelles and zebras. Many large predators live and hunt here, as well, including cheetahs, wild dogs, lions, leopards and hyenas.
- Grazing animals, including wildebeests, migrate in search of green grass.
- The weather in the Savanna is hot year-round. Fires are common during the dry season.
- Only a few drought-resistant trees grow here, including eucalyptus, acacia and the baobab tree, which soaks up and stores water in its spongy trunk.
- During a wildfire, birds and large animals run to safety, while small burrowing mammals dig deep into the Earth. Instead of fleeing, the fork-tailed drongo birds fly toward the fire, catching insects attempting to escape the flames.
- Savannas make up half of Africa and much of South America, India and Australia.
- Drought: period of little or no rainfall
- Dormant: to become inactive
- Parched: dried out, withered
- Lush: thick, healthy
Visit the University of California Santa Barbara to learn more about tropical grasslands.
Question: Do the animals on the savannas help each other?
Answer: As in all biomes, some animals are producers and some consumers. All help each other. Grazing animals eat the grasses and predators feed on the grazers. Dung beetles eat the poop left behind by both grazers and predators. They also bury some of the poop in the ground. This poop helps keep the soil fertile so more grass can grow.