The Savannah

Catherine Andrew

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Location

The Savannah covers about half of Africa, and portions of South America, Australia, and India. The Savannah has a few scattered trees, and a large grassland. By burning grassland and cutting down trees so they can plant crops, some humans create savannas. Savannas can also be created by large animals knocking down trees, or stepping on seeds.
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Weather

The climate in the Savannah is usually warm. It has a dry season 4-6 months in the winter, and wet season 6-8 months during the summer. It rains 10-30 inches per year. The temperatures start are range from 68-86 degrees fahrenheit. When lighting strikes during the dry season, it often causes forest fires.

Adaptations & Variations

African Elephants

African Elephants have flexible and long trunks in order to reach food in high trees. Their trunks can suck up and spray water on themselves in order to stay cool in hot temperatures. African Elephants tusks are curved and sharp to dig up roots to eat. They would not be able to survive in the Savannah without those adaptations. Also, they can use their tusks to defend themselves against large predators, and they use their trunks to make loud noises to scare their predators away.
Only the biggest and strongest males are allowed to mate with the females, so there is not much of genetic diversity.
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Zebras

Zebras have four different types of teeth allowing them the ability to eat many different types of food. Their teeth are adapted to eat tall grass and tough grass stems.There vertical stripes blend in with the tall grass. They would not be able to survive in the Savannah without these adaptations. A zebra's stripes camouflage the animal from their predators. Their legs are long and slender, but very strong, so they can run up to 40 mph to escape predators. They can kick large animals allowing them to escape predators.
Most zebras have white coats with black stripes, but some a have genetic variation that cause them to have a black coat with white stripes, or stripes only in certain places, or different spacing of stripes.
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Giraffes

The animal's hoofs protect it's feet. Giraffes neck is used to reach leaves of the tall trees. Long front legs and tongue make it easier to reach for leaves. The tough lips protect the animal from spiny thorns in the trees. Without these adaptations, giraffes would not be able to survive in the Savannah. Giraffes have a camouflaged coat that helps hide the animal from predators. The mane and fringed tail keep flies and pest away.
The giraffe has variation in there pelage, meaning they have different patterns in their coat. Below shows the different types of patterns.
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Cheetahs

The Cheetah has long and musclar legs in order to have large strides. It has claws that stick out for traction in high speed turns. In order to stop, the cheetah has a pointed pad in the back of each front leg. It's camouflage protects it from other animals. Their "tear-marks" make it easier to hunt by keeping the Sun out of the cheetah's eyes, and without this adaptation it would be harder for them to be a able to survive in the Savannah.
There is three color variations of cheetahs. One is albinism, which there is none or a limited amount of pigment in the skin and hair. This color variation does not survive well in the wild because it does not camouflage. There is also a color variation with dark coloring. Some scientists think there might have been a wooly cheetah in which they could survive in cold regions.
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Symbiotic Relationships

An example of mutualism is the oxpeckers and rhino. The oxpecker warns the rhino of danger, and the oxpecker eats the ticks as food from the rhino. An example of parasitism is a tick on an elephant. Most animals that feed on grass have birds that follow them, the animal that eats grass has no benefit, but the birds eat bugs near them.

By- Annika Heredia, Sarah Rashdan, Catherine Andrew

Food Web

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^^original photo
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Removing an animal

By removing the snake from the savannah biome, one of the baboons main source of energy is eliminated from his diet. This will decrease the baboon population. In decreasing the baboon population, one of the two sources of energy for the leopard is taken away from it, which will decrease the leopard population leaving a decrease in the food sources for the vulture.
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Adding an animal

By adding this bear to the savannah, the population of many primary and secondary species may decrease. The bear’s diet is widely varied and can eat many large animals. When a bear is added to this environment, some species may even become extinct because of how many predators are within the range for a bear's diet. With the bear eating important species like the vulture, there will be an overpopulation of species that the vulture eats for example the rhino, or leopard.