6 Facts About The Savanna

learnplay savanna

 

In case you haven’t heard, LearnPlay’s Halftoys collection will soon expand to include creatures from the African Savanna (and you can pre-order here) We’re grateful for all the amazing feedback and huge response to our Dino series, and we’re excited to add more animals to our catalog!

To celebrate, we wanted to share a few fun facts about African Savannas:

  • 1. Savannas can actually be found on most continents
  • A savanna is any kind of  ecosystem that has both trees and a mix of shrubs and grassland. A savanna is different from other kinds of environments like a forest because its trees are spaced enough so that the tops of the trees don’t often overlap. This means that plenty of sunlight shines on the soil, which allows grass and other plants to grow. Savannas also have most of its rain during one season of the year.

    With those traits in mind, savannas can be found in places like Colombia, Brazil, Portugal, and even in the United States! The most well-known savanna is the Serengeti which is located in Tanzania, an African country.

    2. The Serengeti is full of diverse wildlife

    Many of the most well-known animals in the world can be found in the Serengeti. Here’s just a snapshot of what you can find:

    • Lions
    • African Elephants
    • Leopards
    • Cheetahs
    • Crocodiles
    • Gnus (aka Wildebeest)
    • Hippos
    • Rhinos
    • Zebras
    • Cranes
    3. The Serengeti is also home to the largest animal migration

    Considered one of the most remarkable natural events in the world, nearly 2 million animals (1 million gnus along with antelopes and zebras) migrate in a clockwise direction around the Serengeti. These great herds move throughout the year to follow better grazing areas.

    You can check out a great interactive map of the Great Migration here.

    4. It’s the Maasai ancestral land

    The Maasai people have settled around the Serengeti between the 1600s and 1700s, living in balance with the surrounding wildlife. In addition to having  a vibrant culture, the Maasai were known to be great cattle-herders and warriors who moved from time to time so their herds wouldn’t overgraze a given area. Today, Maasai people often fight to preserve their culture and way of life. Some of their clothing has inspired costumes in Marvel’s Black Panther.

    5. The first human remains were found here

    Within the Great Rift Valley in the Serengeti is a known archeological site called Olduvai Gorge. As archeologists tried to learn more about human history at Olduvai Gorge, they found the oldest evidence of human ancestors making and using stone tools. Archeologists also found animal bones made with marks that could have been made with early humans, which marked a shift in a more meat-filled diet.

    6. The Serengeti (And Other Savannas) are affected by humans and global warming

    Human activity such as deforestation, illegal poaching, and poor land management weakens savannas around the world. Changes in the delicate balance of ecosystems within the savannas can set off a chain reaction that drastically affects the wildlife and plantlife. Having weakened ecosystems make them more vulnerable to the effects of global warming such as drought or big changes in seasonal temperature.