Savanna animals are specially adapted to thrive in the vast grassland regions of the world. Among them are some of the most iconic and sizable creatures commonly found in zoos. Consequently, savanna areas have become popular destinations for nature enthusiasts, offering exciting adventures such as African safaris.
What Constitutes a Savanna?
A savanna landscape is characterized by vast expanses of grassland punctuated by widely spaced trees. These regions experience distinct wet and dry seasons, with the wet period yielding up to four feet of rain, while the dry season offers only a few inches. Consequently, these areas cannot support extensive tree life. The trees that do survive in this environment typically store water in their roots or shed their leaves during the dry spells.
Although Africa is often synonymous with the term savanna, these regions are actually present on six of the seven continents, covering roughly one-fifth of the Earth’s surface. Additionally, the African savanna, including the renowned Serengeti, represents just one variant of this biome.
Savannas can be classified into three categories: climatic, edaphic, and derived. Climatic savannas are defined by their unsupportive climate for extensive tree growth. Edaphic savannas are influenced by soil type and depth that cannot sustain tree life. Derived savannas arise due to human activities, such as large-scale deforestation to create pastures. Grasslands that regularly flood, impeding tree growth, are also considered savanna regions.
The abundance of grasses in these regions provides sustenance for various grazing animals, forming the prey base for many other predators. Herd animals like zebras, wildebeests, buffaloes, and antelopes thrive in these grassy expanses. Elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, warthogs, hippos, various wild pig species, and rodents also find a home here. The ecosystem is further enriched by an array of insects that serve as food for many other creatures.
Predators in the savanna include lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, dingos, foxes, and African wild dogs.
A diverse array of primates, snakes, birds, small felines, lizards, reptiles, kangaroos, wallabies, and amphibians also inhabit these landscapes.
List of Savanna Animals?
- Wild pig
- African wild dog
- Small cats
- Flying fox
Savanna Creatures | Information & Images
In addition to the well-known African giants, savannas harbor a variety of intriguing animals worth exploring. Aardvarks, for instance, are sizable, long-nosed anteaters that snooze during the scorching daylight hours and hunt for termite mounds at night, which they dismantle with their long front claws. The aardvark then laps up the termites with its lengthy, adhesive tongue.
Pangolin The endangered pangolin is an insect-eating mammal characterized by its large scales and lengthy tail. When threatened, it can roll itself into a tight ball, with its razor-edged scales serving as a deterrent to potential predators.
The flying fox, found in the savannas of both Africa and Australia, is the largest bat in the world. Unlike most other bats, these behemoths feed on nectar and fruit.
Meerkats, belonging to the mongoose family, live in social groups and subsist on insects. They are known for their ability to stand fully upright, using this stance to keep a lookout for family members or potential threats.
Given the vast and diverse nature of savannas, it is no surprise that the animal life in these regions is equally diverse and far more captivating than most people realize.