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