A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. A savanna is a rolling grassland scattered with shrubs and isolated trees, which can be found between a tropical rain forest and desert biome. The ratio of rain fall is not enough to grow trees on large scale, that is savanna is like a vast plain full of herbs and shrubs, with isolated trees.
The temperature of Savanna remains warm all through the year. The year of Savannah is divided into two harsh seasons: Very warm, wet and long summer season and very cold and dry winter season. In the dry season only an average of about 4 inches of rain falls. Between December and February no rain will fall at all. Oddly enough, it is actually a little cooler during this dry season. But don’t expect sweater weather; it is still around 70° F.
In the summer there is lots of rain. In Africa the monsoon rains begin in May. An average of 15 to 25 inches of rain falls during this time. It gets hot and very humid during the rainy season. Every day the hot, humid air rises off the ground and collides with cooler air above and turns into rain. In the afternoons on the summer savanna the rains pour down for hours. African savannas have large herds of grazing and browsing hoofed animals. Each animal has a specialized eating habit that reduces compitition for food.
Types of Savannah:
There are several different types of savannas around the world. The savannas we are most familiar with are:
- The Serengeti Plains of Tanzania: They are some of the most well known. Here animals like lions, zebras, elephants, and giraffes and many types of ungulates(animals with hooves) graze and hunt. Many large grass-eating mammals (herbivores) can survive here because they can move around and eat the plentiful grasses. There are also lots of carnivores (meat eaters) who eat them in turn.
- South American Savanna: There are very few species that exist only on this savanna.
- Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela, savannas: It occupy some 2.5 million square kilometers, an area about one-quarter the size of Canada. Animals from the neighboring biomes kind of spill into this savanna. The Llanos of the Orinoco basin of Venezuela and Columbia is flooded annually by the Orinoco River. Plants have adapted to growing for long periods in standing water. The capybara and marsh deer have adapted themselves to a semi-aquatic life.
- North Australian Savanna: There is also a savanna in northern Australia. Eucalyptus trees take the place of acacias in the Australian savanna. There are many species of kangaroos in this savanna but not too much diversity of different animals.