By: Pablo Lopez
The parts shaded in yellow are where main grasslands are located. As you can see here there are grasslands in every continent exept Antartica, and that is simply because it is just too cold for anything to grow. Grasslands are located in places with hot summer tempratures and low pricipitation. In grasslands annual precipitations ranges from 10"-30". Winters are cold , but not to an extreme. The summers are warm and humid, however some grasslands can have very hot dry seasons, the savanah in africa for example, it's dry seasons can last up to 8 months.
Most of the plants in a grassland are ofcourse, grasses. There are a few shrubs but mainly grasses. This is because the soil isn't moist or fertile enough to grow large trees or other plants. The tall grasses grow in grasslands with 30" of rainfall annually. Grasses have adapted greatly to survive in grasslands. Some plants, like the buffalo grass, go dormant and stops growing in the dry season, that way it will not need as much water to survive. The root system in the grama grass is shallow, therefore it can easily absorb any rain that might fall. The milkweed plant has white poisonous zap to stop animals from eating it. The stinging needle is covered with formic acid, which stings the skin of anything that touches it. The big bluestem grass grows in dense stands, this keeps other plants from growing, and that means less competition.
There is a huge variety of animals in grasslands, and each one of them has an adapotation that helps them survive. By using their large ears as fans, elephants keep themselves cool in the summer. Zebras migrate hundreds of miles every year in search of better resources. Zebras also have black and white stripes to camoflauge into the herd, and confuse a predator, like a hyena. When born, the cheetah has a white stripe across its back to give it the appearance of a honey badger, this keeps predatos like lions from eating the cub. The girrafe has a neck long enough to reach the leaves that are too high for any other animals to eat, the girrafe also has a 18-20 inch tounge to help it reach the leaves. Prairie dogs live in underground burrows to help escape the heat of the sun and predators like hawks. The honey badger has developed immunity to cobra venom and can prey on cobras without having to worry about the venom. The rhino allows the ox pecker to pick ticks off its back, this helps the rhino get clean and gives the ox pecker an easy meal. Hyenas and lions fight for food such as zebras, they also fight for land.
Less than 8% of all grasslands around the world are protected!
A big threat to grasslands is agriculture. People growing crops on the soil takes nutrients from the soil that other plants need to survive and can lead to desertafication. Housing can also be a probloem. Grasslands being generally flat, its a good place to build home, and while building homes we destroy the land. An endangered species is the rhino. The biggest threat to rhinos is poaching, they are illegaly hunted and killed for their horn. The elephant is endangered because of poaching aswell. It is important that we ake measures to preserve our grasslands. Grasslands sustain so much biodiversity and are home to some of the most interesting animals in the world, its not worth loosing to over population and greed.