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The steppe landscape of Central Asia Grassland is the name given to large areas of wild grass, with small plants and sometimes scattered trees. Grasslands are found in areas where there is enough rainfall to stop the land becoming a desert, but not enough to support woodland or forest. Grasslands are found in the central regions of all the continents. They are known as prairies in North America, steppes in Asia and pampas in South America. In Africa, the savanna, a mixture of grasses and trees, is rich with wildlife.

A scene in the grasslands of Australia, grazed by red kangaroos

Plant life

Areas of grassland are found in the continental interior, far from the cool, moist winds of coastal areas. This gives them a warm, dry climate in summer, but many also endure cold winters. Because of the lack of rain in the summer, hardy grasses are the main plant life, although trees can also be found where water gathers during spring. The steppes of Asia and the prairies and pampas of North and South America are dominated by grasses, while the African savanna and Australian grasslands, with their tropical climates, have more trees.

Grasslands make up about a quarter of the land on Earth—although much of this area been converted to farmland and pasture.

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