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Savannas

Savannas

 
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Objective:
  1. Provide real world examples in order to develop a concept map or chart outlining the locations and characteristics of the savannas.

  2. Explore the vegetation and life within this environment, and the precarious balance needed to maintain that life.

  3. Introduce the new vocabulary and definitions, reiterating them throughout the lesson.

  4. Keep to the basic information with activities to allow practice with the new content material.

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Tutorial

Savanna podcast

Listen to this 4-minute podcast to discover what a savanna is, where you can find savannas and what kind of life they support. Scroll down to see pictures and text that reinforce what is being talked about.

This podcast was compiled using information from the following sources:

University of California Museum of Paleontology . (n.d.). The grassland biome. Retrieved from http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/grasslands.php

savanna. (2011). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/525656/savanna

Tobin A.J. &Dusheck J. (1998). Asking About Life. Orlando, FL: Saunders College Publishing.

Savannas would not exist without fire

Because savannas are dominated by grasses, periodic fires ensure that these grasses will not get shaded out by trees or shrubs. When fires occur in savannas, above-ground parts of plants get scorched. But plants have adapted to fires. They store energy in the form of starch in their underground roots. Once the fire is over and the rains come, the underground parts of plants send up new shoots. Grasses are the quickest to regrow.

wildfire

Savannas are hot and have both a dry and rainy season

Savannas are found in hot places. They experience two seasons: a hot, dry season when fires occur, and a hot, rainy season when plant regrowth can occur. Most savannas are found on the continent of Africa. You can find them in Australia, South America and India as well.

map of savannas

Source: savanna. [Map]. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/46/Worldwide-distribution-of-savannas

Life in the Savanna

Though life in the savanna varies depending on the continent, many savannas support grazing animals – called ungulates. These grazing animals provide a food source for large, meat-eating predators. Savannas also are home to large, flightless birds like emus in Australia and ostriches in Africa. Some of their smallest and most notable residents are termites which live in mounds that can be up to 21 feet high.

giraffe in the savanna

Giraffes are part of the hooved, grazing group of animals

called ungulates. Other ungulates include zebras, gazelles

and antelopes.

lion

Lions and other large predators hunt ungulates as

their primary source of food.

young ostrich

Savannas also provide habitat for large flightless birds like emus in

Australia and ostriches in Africa.

termite mound

Though small, termites can leave a big mark on the landscape

of the savanna. They build huge mounds up to 21 feet high.

Termites are an important food source for many birds and small

animals in the savanna.

Photos credits:

Giraffe in savanna by biberta at http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/232326

Lion: by somadjinn at

http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=5057681&searchId=9d229ea29361be4e51e129f61ff8a51c&npos=41

Ostrich: by ardelfin at http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/103741

Termite mound: by ciamabue at http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=2595110&searchId=febeba49b49cd220207dd5c935090edd&npos=7

Savannas slide-show review

This slide-show review allows you to recall information presented in the packet above and test your understanding of savannas and the life they support.

Source: Slideshow created by Meagan Leatherbury

Questions and Answers

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