Grasslands Plants
Canadian prairie

 

The main plants that grow on grasslands are grasses. There are thousands of types of grasses. Grasses are plants that are found from the edge of the sea to high up in mountains. They are a very successful plant because they survive the harshest conditions.

There are many wildflowers in grasslands. Flowering plants grow amongst the grassses, generally flowering in spring and summer.

Plant Adaptations
Unlike most plants, grasses grow from the base, not the top. Creeping stems above the ground are called stolons, and below the ground are called rhizomes. As these creeping stems spread out, shoots grow up and produce leaves. The deep, spreading root systems often mat together thickly making sure that even in drought, the plants are able to get water. Long narrow leaves like grass do not lose as much water in the heat as big leaves do.

Grass can be cut quite close to the ground, and new leaves (blades of grass) sprout from the base of the plant. This means that grasses can be eaten and walked on by animals and are not killed.

Grassland Animals
Many animals live in grasslands. There are different animals in different countries. Some of them are very small such as mice, prairie dogs, snakes and insects. These animals can hide easily in the grasses. There are also large grasslands animals such as elephants, lions, zebra, giraffes, cheetah and white rhinoceros in Africa, bison in North America, kangaroos in Australia. These animals are too large to hide in the grasses, so they must protect themselves in other ways, such as speed or camouflage.

Many grasslands animals live in large groups, often called herds. Living in groups means that there is protection from predators for the weaker members. There are more eyes to spot danger, and strong members surround weaker ones.

Information about some plants of different grasslands in the world:
http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/grasslnd/
http://www.hamiltonnature.org/habitats/grasslands/grass_plants.htm

Information about some animals living on different grasslands in the world:
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/biomes/grassland/grassland.shtml

elephants, lions, zebra, giraffes, cheetah , rhinoceros , bison, kangaroos

Australian grasslands

Go here to read about Spinifex

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If you use any part of this in your work, acknowledge it in your bibliography like this:
Sydenham, S. & Thomas, R.
Grasslands Biome (2002). [Online], Available: www.kidcyber.com.au

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