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Grasslands - African Savanna

Life Science - Middle School

 
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Grasslands: African Savannah The African grasslands, both veldt and savannah, make up the central part of Africa in a band across the continent and down the middle into South Africa. Some of the countries with savannah are Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa. These grasslands range from desert grass plains to those of trees and bushes. The veldt, typical of the interior of South Africa, is a vast area of treeless grassland. Together, this open country is home to many of the world’s largest land animals which often travel together in large herds. The more there are to watch for predators the better. That is why it is not unusual to see herds of ostriches, zebras, gazelles and wildebeests traveling together. 1. Lions live in large family groups called prides. Every pride has two males and many related females with young. The females stay together for life. The males compete with each other for control of the pride. Once a male gets too old to fight for his pride, he loses it to a younger, stronger male. This keeps the more fit males as fathers to the new young. Members of the pride work together to scare a herd of animals, while a lioness hides in the tall grass to ambush a passing zebra or gazelle. When the prey animal is dead, the lions take turns feeding and guarding it, while the others rest or go to drink. 2. The cheetah is the fastest land animal on Earth. While hunting, it can run 70 mph for a short time. When not hunting, they often view the vast plain from the branches of an acacia tree. 3. Traveling in large herds across the African grasslands, wildebeest escape predators by running up to 50 mph. 4. The ostrich, at eight feet tall and weighing more than 200 pounds, is the largest living bird. It has good eyesight, which gives it a great advantage in seeing predators from far away. The ostrich cannot fly, but if it spots danger, it runs. If attacked, an ostrich has a powerful kick. They can live up to 70 years. 5. The secretary bird, named for its black-and-white suit and quill-like head feathers, hunts on the ground for mice and snakes to eat. 6. Zebras migrate after food and water. They have a barking whinny when predators are near and even post a lookout at night while others sleep. Males compete for mares by fiercely kicking and biting. 7. From above, the harrier eagle circles, scanning the hot African plain for a meal. 6 2 7 1 5 4 3 Sheri Amsel
___________________ (1) live in large family groups called prides. Every pride has two males and many related females with young. The females stay together for life. The males compete with each other for control of the pride. Once a male gets too old to fight for his pride, he loses it to a younger, stronger male. This keeps the more fit males as fathers to the new young. Members of the pride work together to scare a herd of animals, while a lioness hides in the tall grass to ambush a passing zebra or gazelle. When the prey animal is dead, the lions take turns feeding and guarding, it while the others rest or go to drink. The __________________________ (2) is the fastest land animal on Earth. While hunting, it can run 70 mph for a short time. When not hunting they often view the vast plain from the branches of an acacia tree. Traveling in large herds across the African grasslands, ________________________________ (3) escape predators by running up to 50 mph. The _____________________________ (4), at eight feet tall and weighing more than 200 pounds, is the largest living bird. It has good eyesight, which gives it a great advantage in seeing predators from far off. It cannot fly, but if it spots danger, it runs. If attacked, they have a powerful kick. They can live up to 70 years. The __________________________ _________________ (5), named for its black-and-white suit and quill-like head feathers, hunts on the ground for mice and snakes to eat. __________________________ (6) migrate after food and water. They have a barking whinny when predators are near and even post a lookout at night while others sleep. Males compete for mares by fiercely kicking and biting. From above, the harrier __________________________ (7) circles, scanning the hot African plain for a meal. Grasslands: African Savannah Sheri Amsel 94-4017 6 2 7 1 5 4 3
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