Giraffes play an important role in the wild. However, what biome do giraffes live in? We know they live in Africa, but where else?
Like many animal species, the population of giraffes has also declined due to illegal poaching. This is why more people need to learn about this beautiful animal and protect the species from extinction.
Giraffes are mainly found in the savannas in Africa and Asia, along with game reserves and national parks. They have evolved to take advantage of leaves situated high up in the trees, which means they are basically uncontested for food.
While their survival prospects are good, the giraffe is still on the protected species list, which means that more needs to be done to protect these animals. This is why we are going to give you all the information you need on the giraffe, the biome this animal is mainly found in, as well as lots of other information on giraffes.
As experts on the various biomes found on the planet, and the species that live in these ecosystems, including giraffes, we are in the best position to provide you with fascinating facts about the savanna biome and its tallest mammal - the giraffe.
The Savanna Biome
The distinct plant and animal life of each biome distinguish it from others. The savanna biome, a kind of grassland biome, is characterized by wide grassland with few trees. The Savanna biome is made up primarily of flat grassland plants and is part of a wider grassland biome. With the exception of Antarctica, the grassland biome may be found on every continent and covers more than 20% of the planet's surface.
The Savanna biome, also known as tropical grassland and temperate grassland, is derived from this biome. Despite their differences, the two biomes have one thing in common: grass, which is necessary for the ecosystem's survival, thus the term "grassland." The Savanna biome is defined by grasses as the dominating ground cover with scattered trees and shrubs.
Tropical grasslands are another name for savannas. On either side of the equator, on the outskirts of tropical rainforests, they can be found in a wide area. The climate in the savannas is warm all year. In a savanna, there are two distinct seasons: a lengthy dry season (winter) and a rainy season (summer).
Only 4 inches of rain falls on average during the dry season. There will be no rain between December and February. Surprisingly, it is a little colder during this dry season. But don't anticipate sweater weather; the temperature is still around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is a lot of rain in the summer season in the savanna. Monsoon rains begin in Africa in May. During this season, an average of 15 to 25 inches of rainfall. During the rainy season, it becomes extremely hot and humid. Every day, hot, humid air rises from the earth, collides with colder air above, and precipitates. The rains shower down for hours in the afternoons on the summer savanna. Large herds of grazing and browsing hoofed animals can be seen in African savannas. Each animal has a unique feeding pattern that decreases food competition.
Tropical grassland makes the Savanna biome what it is. It is situated between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, to the north and south, respectively. The tropical grasslands are a region located between the tropics. Over half of Africa, much of South America, and parts of Asia, including India, are covered by the biome. In Africa, for example, the biome is predominantly found in the eastern half, which encompasses Kenya and Tanzania.
The terrain is largely covered in acacia savannas. Animal game parks and reserves have sprung up as a result of these biomes providing refuge for a variety of wild species. The Serengeti in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya are two of the most famous.
The soil of the savannah is not very productive, with only a thin layer of humus (decomposed plant and animal debris) covering it. Because it is porous, the water drains quite rapidly. Because of their high iron concentration, soils have a reddish hue.
The humus provides nourishment to the plants. Because the nutrients in the soil derive from decomposed organic matter (vegetation) from the previous growing season, they are located near the surface. Because of the high temperatures, this organic stuff decays quickly. In savanna grassland, there are four layers of soil. Humus is the first stratum. The second layer is laterite hardpan, the third layer is red clays and re-deposited silica, and the fourth layer is bedrock.
There are savannas in South America as well, although just a few species reside there exclusively. Savannas cover 2.5 million square miles across Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela, almost one-quarter the size of Canada. Animals from nearby biomes have a tendency to flow into this savanna. The Orinoco River annually floods the Llanos of Venezuela and Columbia's Orinoco basin. Plants have evolved to grow in standing water over extended periods of time. Capybaras and marsh deer have evolved to live in a semi-aquatic environment.
Savanna Biome Animals
Giraffes, elephants, lions, and rhinoceroses are among the huge land animals that live on the savanna. Many of the creatures in the savanna biome are grazing herbivores that travel across the area. They rely on the size and speed of their herds to survive, as the large open spaces offer little protection from predators. Animals of the savanna rely on camouflage and imitation to survive. To sneak up on unsuspecting prey, predators frequently need to blend in with their surroundings.
For example, the puff adder is a snake with sandy color that blends in with dry grasses and plants. Prey utilize the same camouflage method to protect themselves from predators higher up the food chain. The African Savanna is home to the majority of these creatures. There are fewer animals in the South American Savanna, but there are more bird species. In addition, only the Australian savanna is home to creatures like kangaroos. Thousands of bug species live in the Savanna biome, attracting birds for eating and breeding.
During the wet season, the carnivore population explodes. The reason for this is that the wet season causes higher grass growth in the savanna, which leads to increased herbivore reproduction. Carnivores such as lions and cheetahs must be present in the ecosystem as keystone species in order for the biome to remain balanced.
They prevent overgrazing from occurring as a result of the overpopulation of prey species like gazelles and zebras. Despite the biome's vast population of creatures, there is usually enough food for everyone, especially the herbivores. Each of these species has evolved distinctive eating patterns that limit food rivalry.
Savanna Biome Plants
The savanna's plant life has evolved to deal with the harsh climate. This biome contains a diverse range of plant species, including both tree and grass species. The biome is home to trees and grasses. These grasses may grow to be as short as 31 inches and as tall as 135 inches. Among the woody plant species, there are also major environmental weeds.
Despite the fact that the Savanna biome is primarily grassland, there are portions of the biome that are devoid of vegetation. Due to insufficient photosynthesis, the grasses take on a dark desert-like hue throughout the dry season. They do, however, become green as the seasons change and it becomes humid again. In addition, there are a few large areas where plants might grow in a haphazard manner. The trees reach a height of 20 feet on average.
Long taproots have formed in this environment, forming a hydrophilic root system capable of reaching deeper into the soil in search of water. When there is enough water in the biome, they develop enormous tree trunks to store extra water and prepare for the dry seasons. Their bark is thick and hardened, making them prone to forest fires. Because of the abundance of grass in the Savanna biome, wildfires are easily spread.
The giraffe is the tallest land-dwelling animal species with even-toed ungulates. Although the giraffe is related to deer and cattle, it belongs to its own family, the Giraffidae, which includes just the giraffe and the okapi, its close relative. From South Africa to Chad, giraffes can be found. The giraffe's ancestors initially emerged in Central Asia approximately 15 million years ago, although the first fossil records date back to 1.5 million years.
Giraffes reach approximately their maximum height by the age of four, but they do not gain weight until they've reached eight years old. Males may weigh up to 4,250 pounds, while females can weigh up to 2,600 pounds. The tail may grow up to 3 feet long, with a large black tuft at the end and a short black mane.
Both sexes have horns, although males have additional bony protuberances on the skull. There are muscles that support the neck that are linked to lengthy spines on the vertebrae of the upper back, resulting in a silhouette that slopes downhill to the hindquarters. Only seven cervical (neck) vertebrae exist, although they are elongated.
Giraffes live in areas where food is available at different times of the year. Giraffes consume evergreen leaves during the dry season, but as the rainy season arrives, they switch to fresh leaves and stems that emerge on deciduous trees. Their long tongues draw twigs and branches into the giraffe's mouth. Giraffes in the wild may consume up to 66 kg of food every day. Male and female giraffes feed in various ways when given the option. Females arch their necks to consume leaves from lower branches, while males concentrate on foliage from higher branches.
Giraffes consume a lot of water, so they can stay in dry, arid environments for lengthy periods of time. They will move into places with more thick vegetation in quest of more food. The giraffe's strong lips protect their mouths from injury when chewing on trees and twigs like thorns.
About THE AUTHOR
James Parker has a Masters degree in Sustainability with a focus on land management, permaculture and regenerative agriculture. He also has experience managing sustainability projects, and is passionate about conservation and sustainability.Read More About James Parker