Transcript Grasslands

World ecosystems:
Dr. Liang-Jun Hu
[email protected]
Faculty of Life Sciences, NENU
Apr. 9, 2013
Did you know that grasslands are
found on every continent except
What Are
Grasslands Like?
Grasslands are big
open spaces. There
are not many
bushes in the
grassland. Trees
are found only by
rivers and streams.
The grassland
seems like an
endless ocean of
Grasslands receive about 10 to 30 inches of rain
per year. If they received more rain, the
grasslands would
become a forest.
If they received
less, they would
become a desert.
Grasslands are
often located
between deserts
and forests.
Grassland Soil
Grassland soil tends to be deep and
fertile. The roots of perennial grasses
usually penetrate far into the soil. In
North America, the prairies were once
inhabited by huge herds of bison and
pronghorns who fed on the prairie
grasses. These herds are almost gone
now, and most of the prairies have been
converted into the richest agricultural
region on earth. Crops grow well in the
rich soil.
Grasslands of
the World
Grasslands are found on either side of two
desert belts that circle the earth. About one
quarter of the earth's land is in the grasslands.
•Tropical grasslands -- those closest to the
equator -- are hot all year.
•Temperate grasslands are farther from the
equator -- such as the U.S. prairies -- and
have both hot summers and harsh winters.
Temperate grasslands once covered much of
the interior of North America, and they
were common in Eurasia and South
America as well. They are highly productive
when they are first converted to
agricultural uses because the organic
material in the soil comes from hundreds of
thousands of years of decomposition.
Different Names
prairies; pampas;
steppes; savannas
In North America, the prairies were once inhabited by
huge herds of bison and pronghorns, which were
hunted by wolves, bears, and other predators. Where
U.S. prairies have been converted to farmland, the
large herds and predators that followed them are gone
In addition to the prairies of the U.S. Midwest, the
world has other grasslands which go by different
names. In South America, grasslands are called
"pampas"; in Europe, "steppes"; in Africa,
Grassland Type and
Distribution in North
The Three Types of
North American
In the United States and Canada there are three types of
grasslands (or prairies):
Tall Grass
The Tall Grass Prairie lies mainly in the eastern portion of the Midwest.
The grasses here often grow to be five feet tall. The annual rain totals
here approach 30 inches.
The Mixed Grass Prairie lies mainly in the middle portion of the Midwest.
The grasses here often grow to be two and three feet tall. Typically, there
are 15 to 25 inches of rain per year. This is the prairie where the buffalo
once roamed.
The Short Grass Prairie lies mainly in the western portion of the Midwest,
hugging the coast of the deserts and the Rocky Mountains into Canada.
The grasses here grow to be no more than two feet tall. There is usually
little more than ten inches of rain per year in these short grass prairies.
Prairie Dogs are common in this area.
The following pages
answer common
questions about the
prairie and prairie
How do the bees
and insects
pollinate flowers?
This bumble bee is starting the pollination process
without even realizing it! When bees land on a flower,
like this milkweed flower, their feet often slip into a little
groove that holds pollen sacs. When the bee flies away it
carries off this sac like a saddlebag stuck on its feet.
When this bee lands on another flower looking for nectar,
the "saddlebag" falls off, the pollen falls out of the sac,
and pollination is underway.
What are some of
the most beautiful
prairie flowers?-1
The prairie blazingstar
is one of the most beautiful
flowers on the tallgrass prairie.
It has magenta colored flowers
arranged along a spike at the
top of a long stalk up to 5 feet
high. Many kinds of butterflies
are attracted to this flower.
Sweet coneflower can
grow to height of 6
feet if planted in
moist soil.
What are some of
the most beautiful
prairie flowers?-2
The purple coneflower
is used by many
people in their
gardens at home. See
how large the orangecolored cone is?
This is the part of the
flower which produces
seeds after the purple
petals fall off. Birds like
goldfinches love to eat
these seeds.
How are prairies
Prairies are maintained by fire and grazing animals.
Another way to manage a prairie is to
mow it in the middle of July and bale
the hay. Haying removes much of the
thick vegetation that accumulates, and
it allows the prairie to grow in a
healthy way.
What is one of the
best prairie
Prairie plants and animals have some neat
adaptations, what is one of the best?
The monarch butterfly is here pictured with an
aster plant.
The monarch butterfly and the
milkweed plant are interdependent.
The larvae of the monarch butterfly
feed on milkweed leaves which are
toxic to most insects. This toxin
(poison) accumulates in the body
of the larvae and adult monarch
butterfly, making it poisonous to
the birds, thus protecting it from
being eaten!
Are any prairie
plants harmful to
Sure! This stinging nettle plant is very
attractive when it's in flower like this but be careful! This plant causes a
painful sting when it touches your
bare skin. It grows to 3 feet tall in
moist shady woods. This adaptation
helps the plant protect itself from
grazers and people, too!
Poison ivy is found at the
edge of the prairie.
Are there trees
on the prairie?
I've always thought that
there weren't any trees on
the prairie - that they were
just wide open spaces - is
that right?
Well, you're partly right... the prairies are full of
wide open spaces. However there are many
kinds of trees that can be found in and around a
prairie field. These leaves are from a box elder
tree, which is a member of the maple family.
Silver Maple Tree
Red Bud Tree
Pictured to the left are leaves of a
silver maple tree. Its seeds fall in
late spring and are fun to watch as
they float in the air in spiraling
Shown to the right are flowers
from a red bud tree. This small
tree is actually in the pea
family! The fruit is shaped like
a pea pod, but is flat.
What does a prairie
look like when it's
not in bloom?
Prairies are famous for their
beautiful flowers and grasses that
bloom in the springtime.
In Autumn the prairie takes on a
different kind of beauty. Leaves of the tall grasses turn beautiful
shades of yellow,
orange, and tan.
What is the tallest
plant that lives on
the prairie?
Big bluestem grass is the tallest grass
found on tallgrass prairies and it can
reach a height of 11 feet! Another
name for Big Bluestem is Turkeyfeet
because of the shape of the seedheads.
This grass was also an important food
for the American bison.
What Happened to
the American Prairies?
About one quarter of the earth's
land is grasslands. The wild prairie
has disappeared, for the most part,
from the United States. Only a few
spots of wild prairie
remain. Because the soil is so
productive and rich in nutrients,
nearly all of the wild grasslands
have been converted into
commercial farms.
Now the prairie feeds the nation and the world. Why do you
think prairies are often called the "breadbaskets of the world?"
Grasslands lack the trees and heavy
bush to hide many creatures.
Because of the open landscape and
the widely spaced trees, grasslands
are home to large herds of grazing
mammals such as the zebra and
bison. Annual rainfall in the
grasslands is between 10 to 30
inches, there is a seasonal drought
every year. Many animals are active
only during the rainy season.
African Elephant
Class: Mammalia:
Diet: Leaves
Order: Proboscidea: Elephants
Size: body:6 - 7.5 m (19 3/4 - 24 1/2 ft), tail:
1 - 1.3 m (3 1/4 - 4 1/4 in)
Family: Elephantidae: Conservation Status:
Scientific Name:
Loxodonta africana
Habitat: forest,
Range: Africa, south of the Sahara
African Elephant
The huge, majestic elephant is perhaps the most
imposing of all the African mammals. It has larger
ears and tusks than the Asian species and two
finger-like extensions at the end of its trunk.
Females are smaller than males and have shorter
tusks. Elephants rest in the mid-day heat and have
one or two periods of rest at night but are otherwise
active at any time, roaming with their swinging,
unhurried gait in search of food.
Depending on its size, an elephant may consume up to 200 kg (440 lb)
of plant material a day, all of which is grasped with the trunk and
placed in the mouth. The diet includes leaves, shoots, twigs, roots and
fruit from many plants, as well as cultivated crops on occasion.
African Elephant
Elephants are social animals, particularly females,
and are known to demonstrate concern for others
in distress. A troop usually comprises several
females and their young of various ages. As they
mature, young males form separate troops. Old
males may be shunned by the herd when they are
displaced by younger males. Breeding occurs at any
time of year, and a female in heat may mate with
more than one male. The gestation period is about
22 months, and usually only 1 young is born. The
female clears a secluded spot for the birth and is
assisted by other females.
The calf is suckled for at least 2 years and remains with its mother
even longer. She may have several calves of different ages under
her protection and gives birth only every 2 to 4 years.
Class: Mammalia: Mammals
Diet: Grass
Order: Artiodactyla: Even-toed Ungulates
Size: body:2.1 - 3.5 m (6 3/4 - 11 1/2 ft), tail: 50 - 60 cm (19 3/4 - 23 1/2 in)
Family: Bovidae: Bovids
Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Bison bison
Habitat: prairie, open woodland
Range: N. America
Although there were once millions
of bison roaming the North
American grasslands, wholesale
slaughter by the early European
settlers brought them almost to
extinction by the beginning of the
twentieth century.
Since then, due largely to the efforts of the American Bison
Society, herds have steadily been built up in reserves, where they
live in a semiwild state, and it is estimated that there are now
some 20,000 animals.
The male may be as much as 2.9 m (9 1/2 ft) at
the shoulders, which are humped and covered
with the shaggy, brownish-black fur that also
grows thickly on the head, neck and forelegs. The
female looks similar to the male but is smaller;
young are more reddish-brown. Both sexes have
short, sharp horns. Primarily grazers, bison live
in herds that vary from a family group to several
thousand; huge numbers formerly made seasonal
migrations in search of better pasture. They feed
morning and evening. During the day, they rest,
chewing the cud or wallowing in mud or dust to
rid themselves of parasites.
During the mating season, bulls (males) fight for cows (females), which give birth
to a single calf, away from the herd, after a gestation of 9 months. Within an hour
or two, mother and calf rejoin the herd. The calf is suckled for about a year and
remains with its mother until it reaches sexual maturity at about 3 years old.
What happened to
the big herds of
prairie animals like
bison and antelope?
Why don't we see the big herds of
prairie animals as much anymore - like
bison and antelope?
Bison, Antelope, Deer
Well, for one thing, much of the North
American prairie land was turned into farms
in the early 1900's so that people could make
a good living growing and selling crops.
Bison, which are often mistakenly called
buffalo, were hunted to near extinction
because their meat and hides were so
Deer and antelope are still found
in places like Wyoming, but the
herds are dwindling.
Black Rhinoceros-1
Class: Mammalia: Mammals
Diet: Leaves, buds, shoots
Order: Perissodactyla: Odd-toed Ungulates
Size: body:3 - 3.6 m (9 3/4 - 11 3/4 ft),tail: 60 - 70 cm (23 1/2 - 27 1/2 in)
Family: Rhinocerotidae:
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Scientific Name: Diceros bicornis
Habitat: bush country, grassland,
Range: Africa: Southern Chad and Sudan to South Africa
Black Rhinoceros-2
The black rhinoceros is, in fact, gray
in color but varies according to the
mud in which it wallows. It has no
hump on its neck but has a large head,
held horizontally, which bears two
horns and sometimes a third small
Its upper lip is pointed and mobile, which helps the animal to
browse on the leaves, buds, and shoots of small trees and bushes.
Less sociable than the square-lipped rhinoceros, black
rhinoceroses live alone, except for mothers and young.
Black Rhinoceros-3
Adults live in overlapping
home ranges, with boundaries
marked by dung heaps. Male
and female remain together
for only a few days when
mating. The female gives birth
to a single young after a
gestation of about 15 months.
The young rhinoceros suckles for about a year and stays
with its mother for 2 or 3 years, until her next calf is born.
Black-footed Ferret-1
Class: Mammalia: Mammals
Diet: Small mammals
Order: Carnivora: Carnivores
Size: body: 38 - 45 cm (15 - 17 3/4 in), tail: 12.5 - 15 cm (5 - 6 in)
Family: Mustelidae: Mustelids
Conservation Status: Endangered
Scientific Name: Mustela nigripes
Habitat: prairie
Range: North America: Alberta to Northern Texas
Black-footed Ferret-2
The black-footed ferret feeds mainly on
prairie dogs, but these animals are
considered farm pests and large numbers
are poisoned. This destruction of their
natural prey has caused a drastic decline in
the numbers of ferrets -- and their indirect
The black-footed ferret is now
protected by law, but it is still in great
danger of extinction and its survival
depends either on the conservation of
prairie dogs or on its ability to adapt to
other areas and prey. It is generally a
nocturnal animal. In June it produces
a yearly litter of 3 to 5 young.
Brown Hyena-1
Class: Mammalia: Mammals
Diet: Carrion
Order: Carnivora: Carnivores
Size: body:11.1 - 1.2 m (3 1/2 - 4 ft), tail: 25 - 30 cm (9 3/4 - 11 3/4 in)
Family: Hyaenidae: Hyenas
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Scientific Name: Hyaena brunnea
Habitat: dry savanna, plains, semidesert
Range: Africa: Angola to Mozambique, south to Northern South Africa
Brown Hyena-2
Typical of its family, with a bulky head
and back sloping toward the rear, the
brown hyena has long, rough hair over
much of its body, with a mane of even
longer hair on the neck and shoulders.
This hyena is usually dark brown to
brownish-black in color, with a lighterbrown mane and legs.
Unless in a family group, the brown hyena is solitary, but it
sometimes gathers with others in a hunting pack or at a big carcass.
It lives in a large territory, which it marks with secretions from anal
scent glands and with feces. During the day, the brown hyena sleeps
among rocks or tall grass. Otherwise, it may find a burrow, often one
left by another animal, such as an aardvark.
Brown Hyena-3
It emerges at night to find carrion or to
hunt prey such as rodents, birds, including
poultry, reptiles or wounded large animals.
Near the coast, brown hyenas also feed on
dead fish, mussels and the stranded corpses
of seals and whales. A litter of 2 to 4 young
is born in a burrow after a gestation of 92 to
98 days. The young are suckled for about 3
months but remain with their parents for up
to 18 months, during which the male brings
them food.
Although protected in game reserves, brown hyenas are considered
pests because of their habit of attacking livestock, and large
numbers have been killed by farmers.
Class: Mammalia:
Diet: Leaves, buds,
Order: Artiodactyla: Even-toed Ungulates
Size: body:3 - 4 m (9 3/4 - 13 ft), tail: 90 cm - 1.1 m
(35 1/2 in - 3 1/2 ft)
Family: Giraffidae:
Conservation Status:
Scientific Name: Giraffa
Habitat: savanna
Range: Africa, south of the Sahara
The giraffe, with its long legs and its
amazingly long neck, when erect stands
up to 3.3 m (11 ft) at the shoulder and
nearly 6 m (19 1/2 ft) at the crown. Its
characteristic coloration of a light body
and irregular dark spots is very variable,
both geographically and between
individuals; some animals may be almost
white or black, or even unspotted.
Both male and female have skin-covered horns, one pair on the
forehead and sometimes a smaller pair farther back, on the crown.
Some animals have yet another small horn, or bump, between these
pairs. The tail ends in a tuft of long hairs.
Gregarious animals, giraffes usually live in troops
of up to 6, sometimes 12, and may occasionally
gather in larger herds. A troop consists of females
and their offspring, led by a male. Males fight for
possession of females, wrestling with their heads
and necks. The troop ambles around its territory,
feeding mostly in the early morning and afternoon
on the foliage, buds, and fruits on the top of acacia
and thorn trees.
The giraffes may also eat grass, other plants, and grain crops. At midday,
giraffes rest in shade and at night lie down for a couple of hours or rest standing.
Females give birth to a single offspring, rarely twins, after a gestation of over a
year -- usually 400 to 468 days. Births invariably occur at first light. The young
is suckled for 6 to 12 months and continues to grow for 10 years.
Greater Prairie
Class: Aves: Birds
Diet: Plants
Order: Galliformes: Gamebirds
Size: body:42 - 46 cm (16 1/2 - 18 in)
Family: Tetraonianae:
Conservation Status:
Scientific Name:
Tympamuchus cupido
Habitat: prairie
Range: Central North America
Greater Prairie
This increasingly rare bird was once common
over a large area of North America. Male and
female birds look similar, but females have
barred tail feathers and smaller neck sacs.
Prairie chickens feed on plant matter, such as
leaves, fruit and grain, and in the summer they
catch insects, particularly grasshoppers.
Male birds perform spectacular courtship
displays, inflating their orange neck feathers.
They give booming calls and stamp their feet as
they posture, to make the display even more
impressive. Female birds lay 10 to 12 eggs and
incubate them for 21 to 28 days.
Diet: Large mammals, also
smaller mammals, birds
Order: Carnivora: Carnivores
Size: body:1.4 - 2 m (4 1/2 - 6 1/2 ft), tail: 67
cm - 1 m (26 1/4 in - 3 1/4 ft)
Family: Felidae: Conservation Status: NonCats
Scientific Name:
Habitat: open savanna
Panthera leo
Range: Africa, south of the Sahara;
Northwest India; formerly more widespread
in Asia
A splendid, powerfully built cat, the lion has a
broad head, thick, strong legs and a long tail
tipped with a tuft of hair that conceals a
clawlike spine. The male is larger than the
female and has a heavy mane on the neck and
shoulders. Body coloration varies from tawnyyellow to reddish-brown, and the mane may be
light yellow to black.
They live in groups, known as prides, consisting of up to 3 adult
males and up to 15 females and their young in a territory that is
defended against intruders, particularly other mature male lions.
A small group of young males without prides may live together.
This impressive creature actually spends 20 or more hours a day
resting. Lions normally hunt during the day, but in areas where
they themselves are hunted, they are active only at night. Lions
prey on mammals, such as gazelles, antelope and zebras, and may
cooperate to kill larger animals, such as buffaloes and giraffes.
Smaller animals and birds and even crocodiles may also be eaten.
Lionesses do most of the hunting, often in groups, some acting as
beaters to drive prey toward other lionesses lying in wait. Lions
attack by stalking their prey and approaching it as closely as
possible before making a short, rapid chase and pounce. They kill
by a bite to the neck or throat.
Breeding occurs at any time of year. A
litter of 1 to 6 young, usually 2 or 3, is born
after a gestation of 102 to 113 days. They
are suckled for about 6 months, but after
the first 3 months, an increasing
proportion of their food comes from the
kills of adults. The cubs are left behind
with one or two adults while the rest of the
pride goes off to hunt, but if a kill is made,
a lioness will return and lead them to it.
Once they are over 4 months old, the cubs accompany their mothers
everywhere, even following behind on hunting trips. They are not
sexually mature until about 18 months old; young males are driven
from the pride at about this age, but females remain with their family.
Class: Aves: Birds
Diet: Plants
Order: Struthioniformes: Ostriches
Size: body:1.75 - 2.75 m (6 - 9 ft) tall
Scientific Name:
Struthio camelus
Conservation Status:
Habitat: grassland,
arid land
Range: Africa: Parts of Central and Southern
The ostrich is too big to fly but has
become so perfectly adapted to highspeed running that it is the fastest
creature on two legs. At speeds of up to
70 km/h (44 mph), it can easily
outstrip most enemies.
Powerful legs, flexible knees and supple, two-toed feet are its
adaptations for speed. The ostrich has lost its strong wing feathers,
but the male has soft, curling plumes, once much in demand for
fashionable hats and boas. Female birds are slightly smaller than
males and have brownish plumage and off-white wings and tails.
Juveniles are grayish-brown. Ostriches eat mostly plant matter
but occasionally feed on small reptiles.
They are nomadic, wandering in
small groups in search of food.
At breeding time, the male
collects a harem of 2 to 5 females.
One female scrapes a shallow pit
in the ground in which to lay her
eggs, and the rest of the harem
probably uses the same nest.
The eggs are the biggest laid by any bird -- the equivalent in
volume of about 40 hen's eggs. The male bird takes over the
incubation of the eggs at night and shares in the care of the young.
Prairie Dog-1
Class: Mammalia: Mammals
Diet: Grass
Order: Rodentia: Rodents
Size: body: 28 - 32 cm (11 - 12 1/2 in), tail: 8.5 - 9.5 cm (3 1/4 - 3 3/4 in)
Family: Sciuridae: Squirrels
Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Cynomys ludovicianus
Habitat: grassland (prairie)
Range: Central USA
Prairie Dog-2
The prairie dog derives its common name from
its stocky, terrierlike appearance and from its
sharp, doglike bark, which it utters to herald
danger. One of the most social rodent species,
prairie dogs live in underground burrows, called
towns, containing several
They emerge by day to graze on grass and other
thousand individuals.
vegetation and can often cause serious damage
to cattle ranges. Feeding is regularly interrupted
for bouts of socializing, accompanied by much
chattering. Females give birth to litters of up to
10 young during March, April or May, after a 4week gestation. After being weaned at 7 weeks,
the young disperse to the edge of the town.
Prairie dogs are commonly preyed on by eagles,
foxes and coyotes.
Class: Mammalia:
Diet: Grass
Order: Artiodactyla: Even-toed Ungulates
Size: body: 1 - 1.5 m (3 1/4 - 5 ft), tail: 7.5 - 10 cm (3
- 4 in)
Family: Antilocapridae:
Conservation Status:
Scientific Name: Antilo
Habitat: open prairie,
Range: Central Canada, Western USA, Mexico
Both male and female pronghorns have true,
bony horns, although those of females are
small and inconspicuous. The horns are
covered with sheaths of specialized, fused
hairs, and pronghorns are unique in that
these sheaths are shed annually. The small,
forward-pointing branch on each horn, the
prong, is in fact part of this sheath.
One of the fastest running mammals in North America, the
pronghorn can achieve speeds of up to 65 km/h (40 mph). It is also
a good swimmer. In summer, it moves in small, scattered groups
but congregates in larger herds of up to 100 animals in winter.
Pronghorns are active during the day but feed
mostly in the morning and evening, taking grasses,
weeds and shrubs such as sagebrush. White hairs on
the pronghorn's rump become erect if the animal is
alarmed and act as a warning signal to other
pronghorns. Some males collect harems, fighting
rival males for the privilege. The female gives birth
to her young after a gestation of 230 to 240 days;
there is usually only 1 in a female's first litter, but in
subsequent years, she produces 2, or even 3, young.
Only 4 days after birth, pronghorns can outrun
Pronghorns are now rare due to over-hunting, competition for food
from domestic livestock and the destruction of their natural habitat.
Class: Mammalia: Mammals
Diet: Grass
Order: Artiodactyla: Even-toed Ungulates
Size: body:1.1 - 1.4 m (3 1/2 - 4 1/2 ft), tail: 35 - 50 cm (13 3/4 - 19 3/4 in)
Family: Suidae: Pigs
Scientific Name: Phacochoerus
Conservation Status: Nonthreatened
Habitat: savanna, treeless open
Range: Africa: Ghana to Somalia, south to South Africa: Natal
The warthog has long legs, a large head and
a broad muzzle that bears tusks derived from
the canine teeth. On each side of the big head
are two wartlike protuberances -- the origin
of the animal's common name. Its bristly
coat is sparse, but there is a mane of long
bristles running to the middle of the back,
and there are whiskers on the lower jaw. The
female is smaller than the male and has
shorter tusks. Generally gregarious,
warthogs live in family groups in a territory
that may be shared by more than one family.
They prefer to have water for drinking and wallowing within their range and
also some form of shelter, such as aardvark burrows or holes among rocks,
where they rest in the heat of the day and at night.
As well as grazing on short grass,
warthogs feed on fruit and, in dry spells,
will probe the ground with their tusks
to obtain bulbs, tubers and roots. They
occasionally prey on small mammals
and will take carrion. Timing of the
breeding season tends to be associated
with the local rainy seasons. The female
gives birth to 2 to 4 young after a
gestation of 170 to 175 days.
The young suckle for up to 4 months but, after a week, start to
leave the burrow in which they are born to feed on grass.
Prairies, North America
Prairies, North America
Prairies, North America
Big Bluestem Grass
Common Names:
Turkey Feet, Beard
Genus: Andropogon
Species: gerardii
Prairies, North America
Blue Grama Grass
Genus: Bouteloua
Species: gracilis
Parts Used: used for
erosion control, browsing
and as decorative plant.
Buffalo Grass
Genus: Buchloe
Species: dactyloides
Parts Used: for turf and
feed purposes
Common Names:
Philadelphia Daisy,
Philadelphia Fleabane
Genus: Erigeron
Species: philadelphicus
Parts Used: the extract
and the whole plant
Prairies, North America
Indian Grass
Genus: Sorghastrum
Species: nutans
Parts Used: the
blades for forage
Common Names: Blood-flower,
Tropical Milkweed
Genus: Asclepias
Species: curassavica
Parts Used: roots and flowers
Purple Coneflower
Genus: Echinacea
Species: purpurea
Parts Used: the flowers, stems and roots
Prairies, North America
Stinging Nettle
Common Names: Great stinging
Nettle, Common Nettle
Genus: Urtica
Species: dioica
Parts Used: roots and leaves
Bald Eagle
Common Names:
Fish Eagle, Sea Eagle
Genus: Haliaeetus
Species: leucocephalus
Prairies, North America
Genus: Taxidea
Species: taxus
Genus: Felis
Species: rufus
Bumble Bee
Genus: Bombus
Species: bimaculatus
Prairies, North America
Genus: Canis
Species: latrans
Prairie Dog
Genus: Cynomys
Species: ludovicianus
Prairies, North America
Swift Fox
Common Names: Senopah (Blackfeet Native
American), Mee Yah Chah, ("the lousy one",
Oglala Sioux), Prairie Fox
Genus: Vulpes
Species: velox
Savannas, Africa
The light green areas on the map are tropical grasslands.
Savannas, Africa
Senegal Gum Acacia
Common Name(s):
Gum Arabic, Senegal
Gum, Kher, Kumta
Genus: Acacia
Species: senegal
Common Name: Baobab
Genus: Adansonia
Species: digitata
Parts Used: all parts of the
tree are used
Savannas, Africa
Bermuda Grass
Common Names: Bahama Grass,
Devil's Grass, Couch Grass, Wire
Grass, Indian Doab
Genus: Cynodon
Species: dactylon
Parts Used: the stems and the
Candelabra Tree
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: ingens
Elephant Grass
Common Name:
Napier grass, Uganda
Genus: Pennistum
Species: purpureum
Parts Used: leaves for
animal fodder
Savannas, Africa
Gum Tree Eucalyptus
Common Name: Gum Tree,
Silver Dollar Gum; Argyle Apple;
Corkscrew Eucalyptus
Genus: Eucalyptus
Species: cinerea
Parts Used: leaves and essence
Jackal Berry Tree
Common Names: Jackalberry
Tree, Jakkalbessie, African Ebony
Genus: Diospyros
Species: mespiliformis
Parts used: bard, leaves, twigs,
and roots
Savannas, Africa
Common Name: jarrah,
swan river mahogany
Genus: Eucalyptus
Species: marginata
Kangaroo Paws
Common Name: Red and
Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles'
Kangaroo Paw, No-la-mara
Genus: Anigozanthos
Species: manglessi
River Bushwillow
Common Names: Vaderlandswilg
(Afrikaans), Hiccup Nut
Genus: Combretum
Species: erythrophyllum
Savannas, Africa
Umbrella Thorn Acacia
Genus: Acacia
Species: tortillis
Manketti Tree
Common Names: mongongo nut,
feather weight tree
Genus: Schinziophyton
Species: rautanenii
Savannas, Africa
Whistling Thorn
Common Name: Whistling Thorn, Swollen Thorn Acacia
Genus: Acacia
Species: dreparalobium
African Elephant
Common Name: Savanna
Genus: Loxodonta
Species: africana
Savannas, Africa
African Wild Dog
Common Names: African
Hunting Dog
Genus: Lycaon
Species: pictus
Black Mamba
Genus: Dendroaspis
Species: polylepis
Common Names: Caracal,
desert lynx, itfah, anaq al ardh,
Genus: Felis
Species: caracal
Savannas, Africa
Chacma Baboon
Common Names: Dog-faced
Monkey, Savanna Baboon
Genus: Papio
Species: ursinus
Egyptian Mongoose
Genus: Herpestes
Species: ichneumon
Genus: Dromains
Savannas, Africa
Grant's Zebra
Common Names: Plains
Genus: Equus
Species: burchelli bohmi
Koala Bear
Genus: Phascolarctos
Species: cinereus
Genus: Panthera
Species: leo
Savannas, Africa
Nigriceps Ant
Genus: Crematogaster
Species: nigriceps
Nile Crocodile
Kenya crocodile,
Madagascar crocodile
Genus: Crocodylus
Species: niloticus
Savannas, Africa
Steppes, Eurasia
Milk Vetch
Common Name:Great Wall
Astragalus, or Sha Da Wang
(flower that grows in desert)
Genus: Astragalus
Species: adsurgens
Parts Used: the whole plant
Steppes, Eurasia
Fringed Sagebrush
Common Names:
Sagebrush, prairie sagewort,
fringed wormwood, arctic
Genus: Artemisia
Species: frigida
Sweet Vernal
Common Names: Pheasant's
Eye, False Hellebore
Genus: Adonis
Species: vernalis
Parts Used: extract from the
Steppes, Eurasia
Genus: Rheum
Species: rhabarbarum
Parts Used: the roots
and the stems
Common Name: Russian Thistle
Genus: Salsola
Species: collina
Corsac Fox
Common Names: Cosac Fox,
Steppe Fox
Species: corsac
Steppes, Eurasia
Mongolian Gerbil
Genus: Meriones
Species: unguiculatus
Northern Lynx
Genus: Felis
Species: lynx
Steppes, Eurasia
Saiga Antelope
Common Name: Mongolian Saiga
Genus: Saiga
Species: tatarica
Saker Falcon
Common Names: Saker Falcon, Altai Saker,
Steppe Saker
Genus: Falco
Species: cherrug
Grasslands Pampas, South America
Grasslands Pampas, South America
Pampas Grass
Common Name: Silver
Pampas Grass, Uruguayan
Pampas Grass Genus:
Species: selloana
Geoffroy's Cat
Genus: Oncifelis
Species: geoffroyi
Greater Rhea
Common Names: Ñandú,
Greater Rhea, Gray Rhea,
Common Rhea
Genus: Rhea
Species: americana
Blue Planet Biomes-Grasslands - Three major
temperate grassland regions
(the Steppes of Eurasia, the
North American Prairie, and
the South American Pampas)
are explored on this site.
Grassland Ecoregions - This
site focuses on both
temperate and tropical
grasslands, including the
African savannah, and
grasslands in central South
America, and parts of
National Grasslands - This
site features information
about the U.S.'s four million
acres of grasslands,
particularly the 20 publiclyowned National Grasslands
administered by the USDA
Forest Service.
On the Prairie - Re-build a prairie, watch prairie
chickens "booming", discover how Native Americans
used prairie plants, and much more at this interactive
The following links are sites we used to find information on both the
North American prairie and the African grassland. You might find
these useful as well to find out about the world's grasslands. They are
short annotations to help you find what you need.
Temperate grasslands
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Government
Sierra Club web site on prairies
Biome links to search
Living In The Environment: An Introduction To Environmental Science G. Tyler
Miller--20th edition; Wadsworth Publishing, Belmont, California.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 20th Edition
"Temperate Grasslands"
pgras.html, (Oct. 2000).
"Grasslands",, (Oct.
"Artemisia frigida",
"Eastern Mongolia Strictly Protected Area",, (2001).
"Gerbil, Fox and Falcon", New Standard Encyclopedia. Version 6.
"Corsac Fox",, (June, 2000).
"Cosac Fox (Vulpus Corsac)",
"Astragalus adsurgens (Lavender Milk-vetch)", htm
"Saiga Antelope",
Miner-Gulland, Dr. E.J. "Interactions between the reproductive ecologies of the
Saiga antelope and rural livelyhoods in Kazahkstan",, (Nov. 2001)
"Cooperation with Russia/CIS",
"Saiga", Wildlife Explorer, International Masters Publishers, USA 1998
"Lynx." Compton's Encyclopedia. 1992ed.
"Lynx.",, (1
June 2000).
"Lynx.",, (1 June 2000).
"Northern Lynx.",, (6 June
"Research",, (Aug '02)
Eastham, Chris, "saker falcon paper",, (Aug