Savanna animalsPosted on May 18, 2018 - Last modified: September 8, 2018
The animals of the savannah are usually the most iconic, as there are a great diversity of species there. There you will find the largest mammal, the most dangerous reptile like the black mamba or the greatest diversity of herbivores.
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What is the savannah?
The savannah, also known as tropical grasslands, is a biome made up of large grasslands in tropical and subtropical areas. They have two seasons, one dry and the other very rainy, although the annual rainy months are very rare.
In this type of biome we find few small trees widely dispersed among themselves, with arboreal canopies (vegetation only in the crowns and upper regions). They combine typical characteristics of a meadow or a forest where normally the savannas are regions between the transition of semi-deserts and jungles.
Savannas vary according to their geographical location, being found in the dry and subtropical tropics, sometimes bordering a tropical jungle. In each savanna the type of soil, flora, fauna and temperatures vary.
Where are the savannas found?
The savannas are geographically located in subtropical and tropical zones, with abundant regions located in dry tropical climates.
The main savannas can be found throughout the African continent and also on the island of Madagascar (east of Africa), Australia, South America (in regions such as Venezuela, Brazil or Colombia)
We can also find Asian, Austro-Asian and Insulin, Australian and Pacific savannas.
Types of sheets
We can classify savannas according to their geographical area, fauna or flora or according to their soil or climate.
The intertropical savannas are located in intertropical latitudes and although on rare occasions they can also be found in subtropical regions. The savannah of Africa is the perfect representative, with not very fertile soil, dry, with a mild climate and rains for part of the year, and drought for the remaining months.
Temperate savannas are located in mid-latitudes around the five continents. They are characterized by their more humid summers and their dry and cold winters. They have fertile soil.
The Mediterranean savannas are located in regions with a Mediterranean climate throughout the five continents. Being semi-arid with a soil with poor flora and a diverse fauna where we will find giraffes, elephants, lions, etc.
Mountain savannas are found at high latitudes in subalpine and alpine areas in different regions of the planet, although most are found in the mountains of Africa. Being between mountains you can find a great flora and fauna since it has a high rate of rain.
The climate in the savannah is quite warm all year round. It has a wet season during the summer months with rains, and a dry season during the rest of the year, coinciding with winter.
Average rainfall varies throughout the year between 750 and 1300 mm. The average monthly temperature is about 17 ° C.
The type of climate can be classified into hyperstational, seasonal or non-seasonal.
- Hyperstational: They are found in humid areas on the banks of rivers. They have clay soils and slow drainage, but are dry from 0,5 - 1 m due to the abundance of clay.
- Seasonal: They have good drainage in the soil, thick with very little water retention.
- Not seasonal: They are pluvial zones, but they are poor soils, with sand or lateritic crusts (Orinoco)
Surviving in the savannah
Savannah animals have had to adapt to survive in this biome. Many species create burrows in the ground to better withstand heat or to protect their young.
Elephants have spots on their large ears, called macules, where heat can escape and thus lower their body temperature.
However, other animals of the savannah have taken advantage of the heat to their advantage, for example, birds of prey such as hawks or hawks use hot air, which goes upwards to rise in the air without using much energy and thus fly over large areas of lands to search for prey.
Like humans, animals also have a palate and not everyone likes to eat the same grass or the same meat. This means that up to sixteen different species of herbivores can coexist in the same space, since not all feed on the same grass.
Some animals do not tolerate certain herbs that produce chemicals that if they tolerate others or not all animals reach the high canopies of the savannah trees, as if the giraffe does.
The same is true of carnivorous animals that do not find the same species tasty, what a lion can hunt is not attractive to a cheetah.
In these ways, animals can feed in the harsh biome of the savanna.
Migrations occur with the seasons of plant growth. Droughts do not reach all areas at the same time, that is why animals have adapted to keep constantly moving and follow the rains to find food and water.
In order to move throughout the savannah following the rains, the animals have long and strong legs, like that of elephants or great speed like antelopes or gazelles.
Other animals such as the giraffe or Grant's gazelle do not make any type of migrations, since they find food throughout the year in the same area where they live.
Both plants and animals of the savannah have had to adapt to feed or survive in the savanna.
The plants undergo accelerated growth when the rains arrive and a yellowish tone is obtained to limit the loss of water. During the dry season, plants store the necessary moisture and nutrients in their roots while waiting for the rainy season to return.
Other adaptations, such as the size of the animal, its strength or its speed are also useful to defend against certain predators or from nature itself such as fires or humans.
In the African savannah there are a high number of predators well known to all. Most are found at the top of the food chain, playing a key role in balancing nature.
Some mammalian predators, such as cheetahs, are the fastest in the savannah, reaching up to 112 km / h in short distances. Spotted hyenas feed on the remains that other predators do not consume. Other predators such as African wild dogs hunt in packs to ensure food.
The snake, like the Black Mamba, is among the deadliest savanna animals. Its bite injects enough venom to kill twelve people in one hour.
Leopards are similar to cheetahs, in fact they are often very confused, they can also reach great speeds and compete directly with lions for food.