This global grassland biome is fascinating! Find out more with these fun facts about savannas.
Basic Facts About the Savanna Biome
Savannas are a type of biome with flat grasslands and scattered trees. 20% of the earth’s land is a savanna.
They are found all over the world: Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, South America, and Madagascar.
The climate of the savanna is hot and dry.
Many grazing animals make their homes in the savanna, munching on the vast swaths of grass.
Now that you know some basic facts about savannas, read on for some fun facts about the savanna biome.
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Fun Facts About Savannas
These fun facts about savannas will make the savanna your new favorite biome!
The Largest Land Mammal Lives on the Savanna
The largest land animal lives in the savanna. The male African bush elephant weighs over 13,000 pounds.
The tallest land animal also lives in the savanna: the giraffe.
Both the African elephant and the giraffe are herbivores.
The elephant eats savanna grasses, tree bark, leaves, roots, and flowers. They even eat soil because it contains salt and other minerals.
The giraffe eats leaves from trees like the acacia and mimosa.
The Savanna is Home to Trees That Live a Millenium
Baobab trees can live up to 1000 years.
It is adapted to the seasonally dry climate because the trunk can hold water (over 1000 gallons!).
The tree’s bark is soft and fibrous, and you can weave its threads into cloth or rope.
If You Live in the Savanna, You Will Likely Have to Migrate
Many animals in the savanna migrate to follow the rains. This way, they will have fresh water and green grass to eat.
These animals include wildebeests, elephants, gazelles, and zebras.
Predators like lions and cheetahs follow the herds of animals.
Since millions of animals make this journey every year, it is called the Great Migration.
Many animals will travel at night when the temperature is lower.
The African Savanna Is Home to 2 Million Animals
The savanna is home to a wide variety of animals.
The lion is the king of the savanna. Other predators include the cheetah (the fastest land animal), the caracal, and the leopard.
You can find herd animals like gazelles, zebras, and antelopes. You will also see giraffes, rhinos, warthogs, and hippos.
Hyenas and vultures are scavengers who live on the savanna.
The Maasai Tribe Live and Thrive in the African Savanna
They live in parts of Tanzania and Kenya but move from place to place seasonally to find fresh grass for their cattle.
They have a strong warrior culture and love singing and dancing.
The Maasai speak Maa, a language only spoken and not written. Children study English and Swahili in school.
Fires Are Common
During a seasonally dry time, the grass ignites quickly when lightning strikes.
Fires occur frequently in the savanna.
These fires can be beneficial for the land. Trees like the baobab are naturally fire-resistant.
The fires remove the old grass and allow new seeds to take root; this rejuvenates the grasses.
Larger animals can usually outrun a fire, and smaller animals find shelter in burrows.
Birds flock to recently burned land to eat the exposed insects.
Fires are a natural part of life on the savanna, and these fires help the biome stay healthy.
You Won’t Find Winter in the Savanna
The savanna is warm year-round; you will not find the traditional spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons.
The savanna does have four seasons, but they are related to rainfall.
These four seasons alternate: wet, dry, wet, and dry.
Dry Seasons Make the Savanna
Animals who live in the savanna must migrate constantly to find water.
They have to leave an area when the dry season starts.
Although you may wish the animals did not have to go through the constant search for water, it is the dry season that makes the savanna.
If it rained consistently on the savanna, more plants would grow (not just grasses and a few shrubs and trees).
The savanna would turn into a tropical rainforest!
Savanna Fun Facts
These fun facts about savannas are sure to pique your interest.
Who knows? Maybe you can go on a safari in the savanna and spot some of this biome’s unique plants and animals!