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The Grassland Biome

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Did you know that Grasslands are found on every continent except Antarctica? Grass lands first during the Eocene Era. Grasslands supported the development of communities of gazers that are the grassy plains on our planet. There are about 11,000 species of grass and each one adapted for survival to survive in the environmental conditions. About a quarter of our vegetation consists of grasses, and some grow under very difficult conditions because of the climate in the grasslands. Grasses also developed unique characteristics to survive.

The climate in the grassland biome is slightly drier than the climate in the deciduous forest biome. The temprature ranges from 20 c to 30 c. The average rainfall varies in the grassland from 10 to 40 inches year around. Fires in the grassland can cause the grasslands to thrive. The grass that gets burned enriches the soil, which allows new plants to grow. Some of the wild flowers can only sprout there seeds unless a searing heat. Fire also helps certain plants from growing that could change the grassland environment such as the deciduous tress. 1 Some of the examples of grassland animals are African Elephant, Bison, Black rhinoceros, black footed ferret, bobolink, brown hyena, giraffe, Greater Prairie Chicken, Ground Dove, lion, meadow vole, Northern pocket gopher, ostrich, prairie dog, and the warthog.

Some plants in the grassland are dangerous such as the Stinging needle plant that grows to be 3 feet tall and causes a painful sting when it touches bare skin. Poison ivy is also a dangerous and that could be found at the edge of the prairie. The prairie has Its dangerous plants but it also has beautiful such as the blazingstar, this plant reaches up to 5 feet high. Another beautiful plant is the sweet coneflower, which can grow to be as tall as 6 feet, and is planted in moist soil. The prairie is known to have wide open spaces but there are also some trees that live in the prairie such as the box elder tree, which is related to the to the maple family.

One of the neatest adaptations is the relationship between the monarch butterfly and the milkweed plant. The larvae of the butterfly feed on the leaves of the milkweed, which is poisonous to most insects. The poison gets into the butterfly and makes it poisonous for birds to eat the monarch butterfly. The Bison has a thick brown coat which helps It keep warm in the winter and when spring comes around it sheds its fur for warmer whether. Unlike most bird the American kestrel does not migrate because it’s used to the warm climate whether. One of the adaptations that I find clever is the European ferret, the ferret releases an odor from its anal gland when it gets scared Or feels attacked. The ferret also keeps a separate area where it keeps extra food that they might have.

Animals in the food chain consist of all the animals in the Grassland biome, for example the African elephant; the African elephant eats twigs, grass, roots, which would make it an omnivore. The elephant faces predators like the lion and tiger and also against some bacteria. Another example is the bison often mistake for buffalo. Bison eat grass, twigs, bark, and leave, which make it and omnivore. Like the Elephant the bison also faces predators such as the wolf and the coyote. A warthog eats grass, which would make The tiger lion eats omnivore but the warthog.

One symbiotic example is how the monarch butterfly and the milkweed plant.

They learned to develop a relationship by using the larvae of the milkweed plant, which is poisonous to most insects. The poison gets into the butterfly, which makes it poisonous to birds and to any predators. Another example is the burrowing owl. When the owl feels threatened by a predator he flier’s into a hole that prairie dogs dug. If there were no were no prairie dogs then the owl would have no place to live or hide when predators attack it.

So the prairie dog helps out the owl.

Large grasslands support more birds than small grasslands. A large meadow will provide nesting cover for bobolinks, but when woody plants begin to emerge the bobolinks will no longer use it, when the bobolink leaves the American goldfinches will appear. Warm season grasses are the most productive of cover types for grassland birds.

Big and little bluestem, Indiangrass, and switchgrass are examples of warm season prairie grasses, which grow most rapidly during summer’s peak. Cool season grasses such as timothy grass, orchardgrass, and Canada wild rye, and legumes such as medium-red clover and alfalfa grow most rapidly during spring and early summer and again at the end of summer when cool nights follow warm days. The annual grasses include weeds such as lamb’s quarters, ragweed, mare’s tail, and foxtail, and grasses such as quack grass and switchgrass. Perennial plants include goldenrod, asters, daisy fleabane, brome, timothy, switchgrass, Indiangrass, and big bluestem. These are all examples of succession that goes on in the grassland biome.

Some problems facing my biome is the need for African elephant tusks, there for their population is dropping. The European ferret is always getting hunted down because it breaks into chicken coups and the farmers shoot the ferrets. People are giving the grassland problems by hunting these animals they also hunt wild bores, Bison, African elephant, ferrets. Bison’s population decreased during World War 2 when bison was needed for food. In the mid-19 centenary bison migration was cut of by railroads. The demand for bison hide, meat, and bones almost made the bison become extinct. The Collard peccary is another animal that is being harmed by man for example this animal is used to being in many different biomes suck as desert, grassland, and rain forest. Being in captivity we think is harming this animal in many ways. When kept in the zoo, the collared peccary is not able to run around or be with its herd. There are also its upsides which include they always have food to eat, and they do not have to worry about predators. But in the long run, we would say it is harming the animal more than helping it. I think man has a lot to do with the affect of the grassland biome.

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