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Asian Wildlife Part III: Grassland Wildlife
When it comes to grasslands, Asian Wildlife has been known for its Savannah and undulating plains of Asia which offer extensive grassland wildlife. Unlike the temperate forest wildlife of Asia, the grasslands of Asia experiences hot, humid and dry summers. So the animals within these Asian grasslands are known to adapt to such extreme climatic conditions. In the Asian grasslands thus large animals learn to conserve moisture and in cases of small animals they seek comforts in burrows.
One can also see many draught resistant flora in Asian grasslands including shrubs like Chinese Lantern that grows here in abundance. Animals that can adapt to the Grassland Wildlife of Asia include the Saiga Antelope and the Tawny Eagle.
Chinese Lantern Plant
Also referred as the Winter Cherry, the Chinese Lantern plant is drought resistant and hence completely adapted to the Asian Grassland Wildlife. The roots of these plants are known to go deeper and deeper into the soil in search of water. This plant bear flowers as well as fruits which are known to be edible. The plant is called so for the papery orange lanterns that grows on this plant that encloses the berries within. The Chinese Lantern plant is considered to be herb and is said to have medicinal properties.
One of the most endangered species, the saiga antelopes are one of the species found within the Asian grasslands. These antelopes usually migrate to south during winters to escape the cold and extreme weather. But they migrate back to the north for the plentiful grass to live on. The saiga has a mucous lined snout that helps them to filter the dust of hot and dry summers as well as during winters the cold air is warmed before inhaling. Saiga always form large herds and graze as well as migrate together in groups.
Tawny eagle flies over the Asian grasslands which comprise of semi-arid deserts and steppes in search of foods. These eagles are known to be skilled hunters and have a hooked beak which helps them to hold on to a prey. These eagles are also known to strive on foods that they steal from other hunters.
Other animals found in Asian Grasslands
Most of the Asian Tropical Grasslands lie within India and animals that are found in abundance here are gerbils and gazelles. Though gazelles are herbivores and feed on grass, gerbils on the other hand feed on insects and seeds.
One other animal found in abundance over Indian Grasslands is the Nilgai that resembles to that of a horse, but is an antelope. Nilgai too feeds on grass.
Few other animals that are found here in the Indian grasslands include the black buck and the 4 horned antelope. Both these animals are herbivore.
When it comes to carnivores of Asian grasslands, pangolin seem to well adapted to these environs because of their small size that helps them to survive in the bushes. Pangolins feed on ants and for their own safety can curl up into a ball.
Other carnivores’ include the hedgehog and the shrews. These animals eat insects.
Few other animals to include in the carnivore’s list is the Indian mongoose and the honey badger who survive on the snakes.
When it comes to snakes, Indian Cobra and vipers can’t be missed. Their food includes rats, frogs and small birds.
Don’t even get the feeling that Asian Grasslands include only small carnivores. The bigger ones found here include the Bengal Fox, striped hyena, golden jackal, Egyptian vulture, cheetahs, leopards and the largest predators of Asian Grasslands – the Indian Lion.
Continue reading Asian Wildlife: Mountain Forest Wildlife