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Learn About Grassland Biomes for Kids
What Are Biomes?
Biomes are large geographic areas with similar climates, animals and plants. There are land and water biomes. The major water biomes are:
- saltwater (marine)
The major land biomes, also known as terrestrial biomes, are:
- taiga or coniferous forest
- temperate deciduous forest
An animal or plant that could survive in one type of biome may not be able to survive in another type. As an example, a giraffe couldn't live in a desert or tundra region. A giraffe is a grassland animal. A freshwater fish couldn't survive in saltwater. Animals and plants adapt to their environment.
Grasslands are usually open and often flat grassy areas with few or no trees. Grasslands have different names in different parts of the world. In the United States they're called prairies. In South America, they're known as pampas. Eurasian grasslands are called steppes. In Africa, they're called savannas. Grasslands are areas where there isn’t enough rainfall to support the growth of forests, but enough to prevent deserts from forming.
Grasslands are often located between forests and deserts. They cover about a quarter of the Earth's land.
Tropical and Temperate Grasslands
Grasslands can be tropical or temperate. Tropical grasslands have more rain than temperate grasslands.
Tropical grasslands are warm all year round. They have a dry season and a rainy season. They have some trees scattered through the plains. The African savanna is a tropical grassland. It is home to giraffes, elephants, zebras, lions, rhinos, and warthogs. The savanna goes through several African countries. Almost half of the continent is covered by grassland.
Temperate grasslands have hot and cold seasons. They don't have trees. They're usually very windy. Many burrowing animals, like prairie dogs, live in grassland areas. Bison, deer, rabbits, mice, coyotes, and snakes are other grassland animals. Temperate grasslands are often used for farmland. They have rich, fertile soil. The prairies of North America are temperate grasslands.