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Savanna or Tropical Wet and Dry Biome

  • This type of biome has alternate wet and dry seasons similar to monsoon climate but has considerably less annual rainfall.
  • Also, there is no distinct rainy season like in monsoon climate. [Only two seasons – winter and summer. Rains occur in summer].
  • Floods and droughts are common.
  • Vegetation, wildlife and human life are quite different from monsoon climate regions.

Rainfall

  • Mean annual rainfall ranges from 80 – 160 cm [Rainfall decreases with distance from equator].

Temperature

  • Mean annual temperature is greater than 18° C.
  • The monthly temperature hovers between 20° C and 32° C for lowland stations.

Natural Vegetation of Savanna Climate

  • The savanna landscape is typified by tall grass and short trees.
  • The grasslands are also called as ‘bush-veld’.
  • The trees are deciduous, shedding their leaves in the cool, dry season to prevent excessive loss of water through transpiration, e.g. acacias.
  • Trees usually have broad trunks, with water-storing devices to survive through the prolonged drought.
  • Many trees are umbrella shaped, exposing only a narrow edge to the strong winds.
  • In true savanna lands, the grass is tall and coarse, growing 6 to 12 feet high. The elephant grass may attain a height of even 15 feet.
  • Grasses appear greenish and well-nourished in the rainy season but turns yellow and dies down in the dry season that follows.
  • As the rainfall diminishes towards the deserts the savanna merges into thorny scrub.

Animal Life of the Savanna

  • There are two main groups of animals in the savanna, the grass-eating herbivorous animals and the fleshing-eating carnivorous animals.
  • The herbivorous include the zebra, antelope, giraffe, deer, gazelle; elephant etc. [most of the National geographic and Animal Planet documentaries on wild animals are shot in savanna regions] and carnivorous animals include the lion, tiger, leopard, hyena, panther, jaguar, jackal etc.
  • Species of reptiles and mammals including crocodiles, alligators, and giant lizards live together with the larger rhinoceros and hippopotamus in rivers and marshy lakes.

 

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