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The Grasslands Biome
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Questions For The Experts:

Where do these grasslands grow?        How long does it take before grasslands are formed?    How many species of grassland animals are there?      What are some species of grassland animals?      How many vertebrae are in a grown giraffe's neck? What starts prairie fires? Why?      Why did the bison die off?      What kind of animals live on grasslands?       Where are most grasslands?       How many times each year does the rain fall?      What is your reason for studying the grasslands so intensely? What lives mainly in the grasslands?      What is the smallest animal that lives in the grasslands?      What are the seasons like in the grasslands?       What is the average elevation of the grassland?      What plant life, besides grasses, lives in the grasslands?      What are the most popular animal in the grassland?       What are the most sparse animals that live in the grassland area?      What does the most popular one eat?      What is the biggest animal from the grassland? What is the smallest?       Do most of the animals in the grasslands eat grass?      Where is the largest amount of land in the same area (grassland)?

Sea of Grass

About one quarter of the earth's land is in the grasslands. This biome can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Grasslands exist on either side of two desert belts that circle the earth. Tropical grasslands -- those closest to the equator -- are hot all year long. Those farther from the equator -- such as the U.S. prairies -- have both hot summers and harsh winters. Why do you think the U.S. prairies are often called the "breadbasket of the world?"
Temperate grasslands once covered much of the interior of North America, and they were common in Eurasia and South America as well. Such grasslands are often highly productive when they are converted to agricultural uses. Many of the rich agricultural lands in the United States and southern Canada were originally occupied by prairies, another name for grasslands. In eastern Europe and central Asia, they are called steppes. Whatever name they go by, all grasslands are similar.
The roots of perennial grasses usually penetrate far into the soil, and grassland soil tends to be deep and fertile. In North America, the prairies were once inhabited by huge herds of bison and pronghorns, which were hunted by wolves, bears, and other predators. These herds are almost gone now, and most of the prairies have been converted into the richest agricultural region on earth. They are still grasslands, but are no longer wild.

Check these links for answers and more!

What Is a Grassland Like? 
Types of Grasslands
Grasslands of the World
Grasslands Plants
Grasslands Animals
Grasslands Links

Did you know that GRASSLANDS are found on every continent except Antarctica?

In addition to the prairie of the American midwest, the world has other grasslands. Grasslands in South America are called pampas. The Serengeti plains in Africa is a grassland. In Europe, grasslands are called steppes.
Grasslands in North America:


1 Tall Grass Prairie
The Tall Grass Prairie lies mainly in the eastern portion of the Midwest. The grasses here often grow to be five feet tall. Here it rains an average of 30 inches per year. approach 30 inches.
2 Mixed Grass Prairie The Mixed Grass Prairie is found in the middle portion of the Midwestern United States. The grasses here grow to be two to three feet tall. There is 15 to 25 inches of rain per year. This is the prairie where the buffalo once roamed.
3 Short Grass Prairie The Short Grass Prairie is found in the western portion of the Midwest hugging the edge of the deserts and the Rocky Mountains. The grasses here grow to be no more than two feet tall. There is little more than ten inches of rain per year. Prairie dogs are common in here.








Grasslands AnimalsGrasslands do not have trees and heavy bushes to hide many creatures. Because of the open land, grasslands are home to large herds of grazing animals. In Africa, zebra and elephants live on the grasslands. In the United States, antelope and bison live on the grasslands.

The Grassland Animal List

Common Name


"African" Elephant Grasslands
American Bison Grasslands
American Kestrel Deciduous Forest, Coniferous Forest, Desert, Grasslands
Burrowing Owl Grasslands
Collared Peccary Deciduous Forest, Rain Forest, Grasslands
Domestic Rabbit Deciduous Forest, Grasslands
Eastern Milk Snake Deciduous Forest, Grasslands, Coniferous Forest
European Ferret Grasslands
Florida King Snake Grasslands, Coniferous Forest
Llama Grasslands
Mouflon (wild sheep) Grasslands
Rhea Grasslands
Snow Leopard Grasslands
Snowy Owl Tundra
Wild Boar Coniferous Forest /Grassland

Printout Color Sheets of Grassland Animals:


Aardvarks are large mammals that eat ants.

African Elephant

The African Elephant is the largest land animal.

African Wild Cat

African Wild Cats are fierce, solitary hunters.


Anteaters are mammals with very long snouts from South and Central America.


Antelopes are graceful mammals with beautiful horns.


Ants are social insects.

Asian Elephant

The Asian Elephant is an endangered species.


The baboon is a large monkey with a long snout and large cheek pouches.

Black Caiman

The black caiman is a meat-eating reptile from South America that can be found on seasonally-flooded savannas.

Boa Constrictor

A large constricting snake from South and Central America.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo are large, hoofed mammals that live in African savannas.

Cape Hunting Dog

The Cape Hunting Dog hunts in packs in Africa.


The cheetah is the fastest land animal.


An earthworm is a little animal with a long, soft body and no legs.


The fossa is a meat-eating mammal from the island of Madagascar.


The giraffe is the tallest land animal.

Giraffe and Baby

A mother and baby to color.


The gnu is a fast-running, herding, grass-eater from eastern Africa. Also known as the wildebeest.


Grasshoppers are insects that can hop, walk, and fly. There are about 10,000 different species of grasshoppers.


The hippopotamus is a large mammal that stays in the water a lot.


A meat-eating mammal that hunts and scavenges prey.


A high-jumping, lightly-built antelope from southern Africa.

Jack Rabbit

Jack rabbits are hares; they have very long legs and long ears.


Kangaroos hop and have pouches. Their babies are called joeys.


Leopards are widely-distributed, spotted wild cats.


A group of lions is called a pride.


Meerkats (also known as suricates) are a type of mongoose that can stand upright.


Moles are almost-blind, burrowing mammals.


Mice are small rodents with long, scaly tails.


The ostrich is the largest bird. It can't fly, but it runs very fast.


The Quagga is a recently-extinct relative of the zebra.

Redbilled Oxpecker

Redbilled Oxpeckers are birds that perch on large mammals in southern Africa.


The Common Rhea or Nandu is a large, flightless bird from South America.


The rhinoceros is a large, thick-skinned mammal with one or two horn-like spikes on its head.


A venomous arachnid with a large stinger on its tail.

Spectacled Caiman

The Spectacled Caiman is a common meat-eating reptile from fresh water habitats in South and Central America.


Tigers are large, fierce cats that have stripes.


Wallabies are small to medium-sized kangaroos.


The warthog is a wild pig from Africa.

White Rhinoceros

The White rhinoceros is a large rhino with gray skin and two horn-like spikes on its head.


The wildebeest is a fast-running, herding, grass-eater from eastern Africa. Also known as the gnu.


The wombat is a rare, burrowing marsupial from the islands of Australia and Tasmania.


Zebras have black and white stripes.


The Zorilla is a skunk-like mammal that lives in Africa.

Click here for lots of links about:
Zebra 4    

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Click here to print this calendar!   You can start planning your summer vacation while you learn about the African Savanna!

June 2002