Savanna landscape, Amboseli National Park, Kenya, East Africa Savanna grasslands are found close to the Equator, outside the belt of tropical rainforests. The largest and best-known savanna grasslands are in Africa, although there are also areas in South America, India and northern Australia. Savanna is dominated by grass, but the landscape is also scattered with bushes and trees. In East Africa, these include acacia, baobab and whistling thorn. The climate is hot and dry from June to October, with a rainy season running from November to May.
Animals of the African savanna
Giraffes use their long black tongues to strip leaves from the highest tree-top branches. The elephant uses its trunk to do the...Read More >>Giraffes use their long black tongues to strip leaves from the highest tree-top branches. The elephant uses its trunk to do the same lower down. The gerenuk reaches high by standing up on its hind legs. The tiny dik dik selects only the juiciest of leaves and shoots from the lower branches of trees and bushes. The black rhinoceros has a flexible top lip that it uses to grasp leaves, or even strip the bark off trees.
Grazers and browsers
The vast expanses of grass in the African savanna support a wide range of grazing animals, such as wildebeest, zebras and gazelles. Other plant-eaters, such as elephants, giraffes and black rhinos, are browsers, feeding on vegetation from bushes and trees. Both browsers and grazers avoid competition by feeding at different levels.
The giraffe’s long neck and the elephant’s trunk allow them to reach up to the highest leaves, while smaller animals feed lower down. Among the grazers, zebras and buffaloes tear off the coarse, top shoots of the grass. The wildebeest then feed on the leafy layer below, leaving the tender shoots at the base for the gazelles.
Zebras crop the tough tops of the savannah grass, while wildebeest tear out the leafy middles. This makes room for Thomson’s...Read More >>Zebras crop the tough tops of the savannah grass, while wildebeest tear out the leafy middles. This makes room for Thomson’s gazelles to reach the juicy plants underneath. Most of the African plant-eaters live in herds, for protection against predators. They move from place to place, according to where grass and water can be found. When the dry season begins, they migrate in a vast mass from their breeding grounds in the south to wetter areas in the north and west.
Gazelles on the East African savanna
Savanna covers approximately 40% of Africa and about 20% of the world's land area.
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