The savanna grassland is truly a habitable place to sustain both animal and plant life. Most of the common animals that you can find in the savanna are mammals, as well as some species of birds and reptiles. It is an ecosystem filled with wildlife in different species, wherein the food chain takes place; because, in the savanna, you can find both the predator and the prey living under the same conditions.
If you are a wildlife enthusiast and love to go on safaris, it is best to have broad knowledge about the different terrains inhabited by animals. Gaining knowledge about this subject will give us a deeper understanding of the lifestyle of animals, as well as plants. Let’s take a look into different facts and information about the vast terrain, savanna grassland.
What is Savanna?
The savanna is a type of terrain that is a mixture of woodland and grassland, which covers twenty percent of the Earth’s total landmass. You can characterize the savanna as dry grassland, which frequently rains.
Similar to deserts, you can find the savanna in dry climates, mainly in Africa, which is the largest savanna in the world – occupying roughly five million square miles, as well as some parts of America, Australia, and Southeast Asia. However, savannas are not entirely dry because, unlike the desert, the savanna is home for trees and grasses, which is the leading food source for herbivores because of its abundancy. Furthermore, it is more likely to rain in savannas than in the desert, wherein the savanna experiences heavy rainfalls annually, followed by a long season of drought.
Despite these conditions, the savanna grassland is home for several species, including some common, as well as rare animals. These animals live together, regardless of their diet classification. The carnivores usually prey on herbivores, while herbivores take advantage of the abundant grassland on the savanna, which is their primary source of food.
Besides the diverse animal species in the savanna, you can also find various plant species in this vast grassland. Most of the savanna’s trees and plants are widely separated, which enables its canopy to allow sunlight to reach the ground to support grasses efficiently. This structure is possible since the savanna doesn’t have many trees, unlike forests, since it doesn’t rain there as much.
As we mentioned earlier, savannas only experience seasonal rain, which is present annually. Its plants and trees take advantage of this heavy rain season and store its water to survive the upcoming drought – which typically lasts for several months. That is why rain is crucial to savanna grasslands as it dramatically helps in supporting life to its wildlife. Without rain, it may have horrible effects on the savanna’s ecosystem.
Different Animals in Savanna
It is amusing to see the different animals living in the quite-harsh environment of savannas. The African savanna is the largest in the world, as well as it is home for the most diverse species of animals found among all savannas. Despite the dramatically changing seasons in the savanna, the animals managed to adapt to these extreme conditions.
Several species of herbivores are present in the savanna, including elephants, antelopes, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, buffalos, and warthogs. It is apparent in these animals’ nature to eat different species of plants, mainly the abundant grass found across the savanna. These animals usually gather in groups, often called herds, to avoid getting attacked by predators. So, whenever they travel, they walk in herds and make sure that no one is left behind, especially their young ones.
The carnivores, however, find their way to catch their prey from these animals, which is their primary source of food. Several species of carnivores are present in the savanna, including cheetahs, lions, leopards, wild dogs, and hyenas. These animals feast on the herbivores, which is their way of survival. Although catching prey isn’t very easy since herbivores usually move around in groups. Different species have their way of catching their prey.
Lions have unique methods in catching their prey. One way is to continually stalk the target and be on stealth mode while waiting for the perfect timing for an attack, which is usually done by the lioness. Once it succeeds in following the target, it will pounce on its prey, followed by a strong bite on the neck to paralyze it. Another hunting method used by lions is a more aggressive approach, where the lion and the lioness will run towards the prey, strategically cornering it.
Different Plants in Savanna
Despite its dry environment, the savanna is also capable of supporting plant life. Although it only has a few isolated trees, its grass is abundant throughout the land. Besides the rich grass, the savanna has rare plant species that are unusual to other continents, including the Acacia, Eucalyptus, Baobab, Candelabra, Jakal Berry, Manetti, and River Bushwillow. And interestingly, these plants have already adapted to the dry climate in the savanna, allowing themselves to survive the prolonged drought in the region; Particularly the Baobab tree, which can store water in its trunk that can last for nine months of drought.
PARKS WITH GRASSLAND SAVANNAH VEGETATION
• Chobe National Park
• Linyanti Swamp
• Mashatu Game Reserve
• Moremi Game Reserve
• Kruger National Park
• Madikwe National Park
• Lechwe Plains
• Matobo Hills
OTHER VEGETATION ZONES
Arid Region | Desert | Savannah Woodland | Fynbos | Indigenous Forests | Swampland